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"Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead" 

by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. 

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Volt/me Uaf the Books of KRSNA Trilogy 




O O 

THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD 



^?^% 




By ^His ^mrie Qmce 
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 



Krsna, The Supreme 

Personality of Godhead 

Volume II 

By His Divine Grace 

AC Bhaktivedanta Swami 
Prabhupada 



This is volume two of a 
three book set 



Dedication by 

AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 

To My Father, Gour Mohan De (1849-1930) 



A pure devotee of Krsna, who raised me as a Krsna concious child 
from the beginning of my life. In my boyhood ages he instructed 
me how to play the mrdanga. He gave me Radha-Krsna Vigraha to 
worship, and he gave me Jagannatha-Ratha to duly observe the 
festival as my childhood play. He was kind to me, and I imbibed 
from him the ideas later on solidified by my spiritual master, the 
eternal father. 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



Words from App le 
George Harrison 

Everybody is looking for Krsna. 

Some don't realize that they are, but they are. 

KRSNA is GOD, the source of all that exists, the Cause of all that is, 

was, or ever will be. 

As GOD is unlimited, HE has many Names. 

Allah-Buddha-Jehova-Rama: ALL are KRSNA, all are ONE. 

God is not abstract; He has both the impersonal and the personal GOD 

is abstract; He has both the impersonal and the personal aspects to His 

personality which is SUPREME, ETERNAL, BLISSFUL, and full of 

KNOWLEDGE. As a single drop of water has the same qualities as an 

ocean of water, so has our consciousness the qualities of GOD'S 

consciousness . . . but through our identification and attachment with 

material energy (physical body, sense pleasures, material possessions, ego, 

etc.) our true TRANSCENDENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS has been 

polluted, and like a dirty mirror it is unable to reflect a pure image. 

With many lives our association with the TEMPORARY has grown. 

This impermanent body, a bag of bones and flesh, is mistaken for our 

true self, and we have accepted this temporary condition to be final. 

Through all ages, great SAINTS have remained as living proof that this 

non-temporary, permanent state of GOD CONSCIOUSNESS can be 

revived in all living Souls. Each soul is potentially divine. 

Krsna says in Bhagavad Gita: "Steady in the Self, being freed from all 

material contamination, the yogi achieves the highest perfectional stage 

of happiness in touch with the Supreme Consciousness." (VI, 28) 

YOGA (a scientific method for GOD (SELF) realization) is the process 

by which we purify our consciousness, stop further pollution, and arrive 

at the state of Perfection, full KNOWLEDGE, full BLISS. 

If there's a God, I want to see Him. It's pointless to believe in something 

without proof, and Krsna Consciousness and meditation are methods 

where you can actually obtain GOD perception. You can actually see 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



3 



God, and hear Him, play with Him. It might sound crazy, but He is 
actually there, actually with you. 

There are many yogic Paths-Raja, Jnana, Hatha, Kriya, Karma, Bhakti- 
which are all acclaimed by the MASTERS of each method. 
SWAMI BHAKTIVEDANTA is as his title says, a BHAKTI Yogi 
following the path of DEVOTION. By serving GOD through each 
thought, word and DEED, and by chanting HIS Holy Names, the 
devotee quickly develops God-consciousness. By chanting 

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna 
Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare 
Hare Rama, Hare Rama 
Rama Rama, Hare Hare 

One inevitable arrives at KRSNA Consciousness. (The proof of the 
pudding is in the eating!) 

I request that you take advantage of this book KRSNA, and enter into 
its understanding. I also request that you make an appointment to meet 
your God now, through the self liberating process of YOGA (UNION) 
and GIVE PEACE A CHANCE. 

(hand written) 

All you need is Love (Krishna) Hari Bol. 

George Harrison 31/3/70 

Apple Corps Ltd 3 Savile Row London Wl Gerrard 2771/3993 Telex Apcore 
London 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX 
Kamsa Sends Akrura for Krsna 

Vrndavana was always absorbed in the thought of Krsna. Everyone 
remembered His pastimes and was constantly merged in the ocean of 
transcendental bliss. But the material world is so contaminated that 
even in Vrndavana the asuras, or demons, tried to disturb the peaceful 
situation. 

Once a demon named Aristasura entered the village in the form of a 
great bull with a gigantic body and huge horns, digging up the earth with 
his hooves. When the demon entered Vrndavana, the whole land 
appeared to tremble, as if there were an earthquake. He roared fiercely, 
and after digging up the earth on the riverside, he entered the village 
proper. The fearful roaring of the bull was so piercing that some of the 
pregnant cows and women had miscarriages. Its body was so big, stout 
and strong that a cloud hovered over its body just as clouds hover over 
mountains. Aristasura entered Vrndavana with such a fearful 
appearance that just on seeing this great demon all the men and women 
were afflicted with great fear, and the cows and other animals fled the 
village. 

The situation became very terrible, and all the inhabitants of 
Vrndavana began to cry, "Krsna! Krsna, please save us!" Krsna also saw 
that the cows were running away, and He immediately replied, "Don't be 
afraid. Don't be afraid." He then appeared before Aristasura and said, 
"You lowest of living entities! Why are you frightening the inhabitants 
of Gokula? What will you gain by this action? If you have come to 
challenge My authority, then I am prepared to fight you." In this way, 
Krsna challenged the demon, and the demon became very angry by the 
words of Krsna. Krsna stood before the bull, resting His hand on the 
shoulder of a friend. The bull proceeded toward Krsna in anger. Digging 
the earth with his hooves, Aristasura lifted his tail, and it appeared that 
clouds were hovering about the tail. His eyes were reddish and moving 
in anger. Pointing his horns at Krsna, he charged Him just like the 
thunderbolt of Indra. But Krsna immediately caught his horns and 
tossed him away, just as a gigantic elephant repels a small inimical 

Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. r 



elephant. Although the demon was perspiring and appeared very tired, 
he took courage and got up. Again he charged Krsna with great force 
and anger. While rushing towards Krsna, he breathed very heavily. 
Krsna again caught his horns and immediately threw him to the ground, 
breaking his horns. Krsna then began to kick his body, just as one 
squeezes a wet cloth on the ground. Being thus kicked by Krsna, 
Aristasura rolled over and began to move his legs violently. Bleeding 
from the mouth and passing stool and urine, his eyes starting from their 
sockets, he passed to the kingdom of death. 

The demigods in the celestial planets showered flowers on Krsna for His 
wonderful achievement. Krsna was already the life and soul of the 
inhabitants of Vrndavana, and after killing this demon in the shape of a 
bull, He became the cynosure of all eyes. With Balarama, He 
triumphantly entered Vrndavana village, and the inhabitants glorified 
Him and Balarama with great jubilation. When a person performs some 
wonderful feat, his kinsmen and relatives and friends naturally become 
jubilant. 

It was after this incident that the great sage Narada disclosed to Karhsa 
the secret of Krsna. Narada Muni is generally known as deva-darsana, 
which means that he can be seen only by demigods or persons on the 
same level with the demigods. But Narada visited Karhsa, who was not at 
all on the level of the demigods, and allowed Karhsa to see him. Of 
course Karhsa also saw Krsna, what to speak of Narada Muni. But unless 
one sees the Lord or His devotees with purified eyes, one cannot derive 
the actual benefit. Of course, anyone who associates with a pure devotee 
derives imperceptible benefit, which is called ajndta-sukrti. One cannot 
understand how he is making progress, yet he makes progress by seeing 
the devotee of the Lord. Narada Muni's mission was to finish things 
quickly. Krsna appeared in order to kill the demons, and Karhsa was the 
chief among them. Narada wanted to expedite things; therefore, he 
immediately approached Karhsa with all the real information. "You are 
to be killed by the eighth son of Vasudeva," Narada told Karhsa. "That 
eighth son is Krsna. You were misled by Vasudeva into believing that 
the eighth issue of Vasudeva was a daughter. Actually, the daughter was 
born of Yasoda, the wife of Nanda Maharaja, and Vasudeva exchanged 
his son for the daughter, so you were misled. Krsna is the son of 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



6 



Vasudeva, as is Balarama. Being afraid of your atrocious nature, 
Vasudeva has tactfully hidden Them in Vrndavana, out of your sight." 
Narada further informed Karhsa, "Krsna and Balarama have been living 
incognito in the care of Nanda Maharaja. All the asuras, your 
companions who were sent to Vrndavana to kill different children, were 
killed by Krsna and Balarama." 

As soon as Karhsa got this information from Narada Muni, he took out 
his sharp sword and prepared to kill Vasudeva for his duplicity. But 
Narada pacified him. "You are not to be killed by Vasudeva," he said. 
"Why are you so anxious to kill him? Better try to kill Krsna and 
Balarama." But in order to satisfy his wrath, Karhsa arrested Vasudeva 
and his wife and shackled them in iron chains. Acting on the new 
information, Karhsa immediately called for the Kesi demon and asked 
him to go to Vrndavana immediately to kill Balarama and Krsna. In 
actuality, Karhsa asked Kesi to go to Vrndavana to be killed by Krsna 
and Balarama and thus get salvation. Then Karhsa called for his expert 
elephant trainers, as well as for Canura, Mustika, Sala, Tosala, etc., and 
he told them, "My dear friends, try to hear me attentively. At Nanda 
Maharaja's place in Vrndavana there are two brothers, Krsna and 
Balarama. They are actually two sons of Vasudeva. As you know, I have 
been destined to be killed by Krsna; there is a prophecy to this effect. 
Now I am requesting you to arrange for a wrestling match. People from 
different parts of the country will come to see the festival. I will arrange 
to get those two boys here, and you will try to kill Them in the wrestling 



arena." 



Wrestling matches are still enjoyed by people in northern India, and it 
appears from the statements of Srlmad-Bhdgavatam that five thousand 
years ago wrestling was also popular. Karhsa planned to arrange such a 
wrestling competition and to invite people to visit. He also told the 
trainers of the elephants, "Be sure to bring the elephant named 
Kuvalayaplda and keep him at the gate of the wrestling camp. Try to 
capture Krsna and Balarama on Their arrival and have the elephant kill 
Them." 

Karhsa also advised his friends to arrange to worship Lord Siva by 
offering animal sacrifices and performing the sacrifice called Dhanur- 
yajna and the sacrifice performed on the fourteenth day of the moon, 

Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. <• 



known as Caturdasi. This date falls three days after Ekadasi, and it is set 
aside for the worship of Lord Siva. One of the plenary portions of Lord 
Siva is called Kalabhairava. This form of Lord Siva is worshiped by 
demons who offer animals killed before him. The process is still current 
in India in a place called Vaidyanatha-dhama, where the demons offer 
animal sacrifices to the deity of Kalabhairava. Karhsa belonged to this 
demoniac group. He was also an expert diplomat, and so he quickly 
arranged for his demon friends to kill Krsna and Balarama. 
He then called for Akrura, one of the descendants in the family of Yadu, 
in which Krsna was born as the son of Vasudeva. When Akrura came to 
see Karhsa, Karhsa very politely shook hands with him and said, "My dear 
Akrura, actually I've no better friend than you in the Bhoja and Yadu 
dynasties. You are the most munificent person, so as a friend I am 
begging charity from you. Actually I have taken shelter of you exactly as 
King Indra takes shelter of Lord Visnu. I request you to go immediately 
to Vrndavana and find the two boys named Krsna and Balarama. They 
are sons of Nanda Maharaja. Take this nice chariot, especially prepared 
for the boys, and bring Them here immediately. That is my request to 
you. Now, my plan is to kill these two boys. As soon as They come in the 
gate, there will be a giant elephant named Kuvalayaplda waiting, and 
possibly he will be able to kill Them. But if somehow or other They 
escape, They will next meet the wrestlers and will be killed by them. 
That is my plan. And after killing these two boys, I shall kill Vasudeva 
and Nanda, who are supporters of the Vrsni and Bhoja dynasties. I shall 
also kill my father, Ugrasena, and his brother Devaka, because they are 
actually my enemies and are hindrances to my diplomacy and politics. 
Thus I shall get rid of all my enemies. Jarasandha is my father-in-law, 
and I have a great monkey friend named Dvivida. With their help it will 
be easy to kill all the kings on the surface of the earth who support the 
demigods. This is my plan. In this way I shall be free from all opposition, 
and it will be very pleasant to rule the world without obstruction. You 
may know also that Sambara, Narakasura and Banasura are my intimate 
friends, and when I begin this war against the kings who support the 
demigods, they will help me considerably. Surely I shall be rid of all my 
enemies. Please go immediately to Vrndavana and encourage the boys to 
come here to see the beauty of Mathura and take pleasure in the 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



8 



wrestling competition." 

After hearing this plan of Karhsa's, Akrura replied, "My dear King, your 
plan is very excellently made to counteract the hindrances to your 
diplomatic activities. But you should maintain equilibrium, for the result 
of your activities may be fruitful or may not be fruitful. After all, man 
proposes, God disposes. We may make very great plans, but unless they 
are sanctioned by the supreme authority, they will fail. Everyone in this 
material world knows that the supernatural power is the ultimate 
disposer of everything. One may make a very great plan with his fertile 
brain, but he must know that he will become subjected to the fruits, 
misery and happiness. But I have nothing to say against your proposal. 
As a friend, I shall carry out your order and bring Krsna and Balarama 
here, as you desire." 

After instructing his friends in various ways, Karhsa retired, and Akrura 
went back to his home. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Thirty-sixth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Karhsa Sends Akrura for Krsna." 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN 
Killing the Kesi Demon and Vyomasura 

After being instructed by Karhsa, the demon Kesi assumed the form of a 
terrible horse. He entered the area of Vrndavana with the speed of the 
mind, his great mane flying and his hooves digging up the earth. He 
began to whinny and terrify the whole forest. Krsna saw that the demon 
was terrifying all the residents of Vrndavana with his whinnying and his 
tail wheeling in the sky like a big cloud. Krsna could understand that the 
horse was challenging Him to fight. The Lord accepted his challenge and 
stood before the Kesi demon, calling him to fight. The horse then ran 
toward Krsna, making a horrible sound like a roaring lion, his jaws 
spread wide open as if to swallow the whole sky. Kesi rushed toward the 
Lord with great speed and tried to trample Him with his legs, which 
were strong, forceful and as hard as stone. Krsna, however, immediately 
caught hold of his legs and thus baffled him. Being somewhat angry, 
Krsna began to whirl the horse around. After a few rounds, He 
contemptuously threw him a hundred yards away, just as Garuda throws 
a big snake. Thrown by Krsna, the horse immediately passed out, but 
after a little while he regained consciousness and with great anger and 
force again rushed toward Krsna with his mouth open. As soon as Kesi 
reached Him, Krsna pushed His left arm within the horse's mouth, and it 
looked as though a big snake had entered a hole in the field. The horse 
felt great pain because the arm of Krsna felt to him like a hot iron rod. 
Immediately his teeth fell out. Krsna's arm within the mouth of the 
horse at once began to inflate, and Kesi's throat choked up. As the great 
horse suffocated, perspiration appeared on his body, and he threw his 
legs hither and thither. As his last breath came, his eyeballs bulged in 
their sockets and he passed stool and urine simultaneously. Thus the 
vital force of his life expired. When the horse was dead, his mouth 
became loose, and Krsna could extract His hand without difficulty. He 
did not feel any surprise that the Kesi demon was killed so easily, but the 
demigods in the sky were amazed, and out of their great appreciation 
they offered Krsna greetings by showering flowers. 
After this incident, Narada Muni, the greatest of all devotees, came to 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



10 



see Krsna in a solitary place and began to talk with Him. "My dear Lord 
Krsna," he said, "You are the unlimited Supersoul, the supreme 
controller of all mystic powers, the Lord of the whole universe, the all- 
pervading Personality of Godhead. You are the resting place of the 
cosmic manifestation, the master of all the devotees and the Lord of 
everyone. My dear Lord, as the Supersoul of all living entities, You 
remain concealed within their hearts exactly as fire remains concealed 
in every piece of fuel. You are the witness of all the activities of the 
living entities, and You are the supreme controller within their hearts. 
You are self-sufficient; before the creation, You existed, and by Your 
energy You have created all the material elements. According to Your 
perfect plan, this material world is created by the interaction of the 
modes of nature, and by You it is maintained and annihilated. Although 
You are unaffected by all these activities, You are the supreme controller 
eternally. My dear Lord, You have advented Yourself on the surface of 
this earth just to kill all the so-called kings who are actually demons. 
These hobgoblins are cheating people in the dress of the princely order. 
You have advented Yourself to fulfill Your own statement that You 
come within this material world just to protect the principles of religion 
and annihilate unwanted miscreants. My dear Lord, I am therefore sure 
that the day after tomorrow I shall see demons like Canura, Mustika and 
the other wrestlers and elephants, as well as Kamsa himself, killed by 
You. I shall see this with my own eyes. After this I shall be able to see 
the killing of other demons, like Sarikha, Yavana, Mura and Narakasura. 
I shall also see how You take away the pdrijdta flower from the kingdom 
of heaven and how You defeat the King of heaven himself. 
"My dear Lord," Narada Muni continued, "I shall then be able to see how 
You marry princesses, the daughters of chivalrous kings, by paying the 
price of ksatriya strength." (Whenever a ksatriya wants to marry a very 
beautiful and qualified daughter of a great king, he must fight his 
competitors and emerge victorious. Then he is given the hand of the 
princess in charity.) 

"I shall also see how You save King Nrga from a hellish condition," said 
Narada Muni. "This You shall enact in Dvaraka. I shall also be able to 
see how You get Your wife and the Syamantaka jewel and how You save 
the son of a brahmana from death after he has already been transferred 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



11 



to another planet. After this, I will be able to see You kill the Paundraka 
demon and burn to ashes the kingdom of Kasi. I will see how You kill the 
King of Cedi and Dantavakra during the great sacrifice of Maharaja 
Yudhisthira. Besides all this, it will be possible for me to see many other 
chivalrous activities while You remain in Dvaraka. And all these 
activities performed by Your grace will be sung by great poets 
throughout the world. And at the Battle of Kuruksetra You will take 
part as the chariot driver of Your friend Arjuna, and as the invincible 
death incarnation, eternal time, You will vanquish all belligerents 
assembled there. I shall see a large number of military forces killed in 
that battlefield. My Lord, let me offer my respectful obeisances unto 
Your lotus feet. You are situated completely in the transcendental 
position in perfect knowledge and bliss. You are complete in fulfilling all 
Your desires. By exhibiting Your internal potency, You have set up the 
influence of mdyd. Your unlimited potency cannot even be measured by 
anyone. My dear Lord, You are the supreme controller. You are under 
Your own internal potency, and it is simply vain to think that You are 
dependent on any of Your creations. 

"You have taken birth in the Yadu dynasty, or the Vrsni dynasty. Your 
advent on the surface of the earth in Your original form of eternal 
blissful knowledge is Your own pastime. You are not dependent on 
anything but Yourself; therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto 
Your lotus feet." After offering his respectful obeisances to Lord Krsna, 
Narada Muni took permission and left. 

Narada Muni wanted to impress upon people in general that Krsna is 
fully independent. His activities, such as His appearance in the family of 
Yadu or His friendship with Arjuna, do not necessarily oblige Him to act 
to enjoy their results. They are all pastimes, and for Him they are all 
play. But for us they are actual, tangible facts. 

After He had killed the Kesi demon, Krsna returned to tending the cows 
with His friends in the forest as though nothing had happened. Thus 
Krsna is eternally engaged in His transcendental activities in Vrndavana 
with His friends, the cowherd boys and gopls, but sometimes He exhibits 
the extraordinary prowess of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by 
killing different types of demons. 
Later that morning, Krsna went to play with His cowherd boyfriends on 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



12 



the top of the Govardhana Hill. They were imitating the play of thieves 
and police. Some of the boys became police constables, and some became 
thieves, and some took the role of lambs. While they were thus enjoying 
their childhood pastimes, a demon known by the name of Vyomasura, 
"the demon who flies in the sky," appeared on the scene. He was the son 
of another great demon, named Maya. These demons can perform 
wonderful magic. Vyomasura took the part of a cowherd boy playing as a 
thief and stole many boys who were playing the parts of lambs. One after 
another he took away almost all the boys and put them in the caves of 
the mountain and sealed the mouths of the caves with stones. Krsna 
could understand the trick the demon was playing; therefore He caught 
hold of him exactly as a lion catches hold of a lamb. The demon tried to 
expand himself like a hill to escape arrest, but Krsna did not allow him 
to get out of His clutches. He was immediately thrown on the ground 
with great force and killed, just as an animal is killed in the 
slaughterhouse. After killing the Vyoma demon, Lord Krsna released all 
His friends from the caves of the mountain. He was then praised by His 
friends and by the demigods for these wonderful acts. He again returned 
to Vrndavana with His cows and friends. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Thirty -seventh Chapter of 
Krsna, "Killing the Kesi Demon and Vyomasura." 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



13 



CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT 
Akrura* s Arrival in Vrndavana 

Narada Muni did not mention Krsna's killing Vyomasura, which means 
that he was killed on the same day as the Kesi demon. The Kesi demon 
was killed in the early morning, and after that the boys went to tend the 
cows on Govardhana Hill, and it was there that Vyomasura was killed. 
Both demons were killed in the morning. Akrura was requested by 
Karhsa to arrive in Vrndavana by evening. After receiving instruction 
from Karhsa, Akrura started the next morning via chariot for 
Vrndavana. Because Akrura himself was a great devotee of the Lord, 
while going to Vrndavana he began to pray to the Lord. Devotees are 
always absorbed in thoughts of Krsna, and Akrura was constantly 
thinking of Lord Krsna's lotus eyes. 

He did not know what sort of pious activities he must have performed to 
gain an opportunity to go see Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama in 
Vrndavana on that day. A pure Vaisnava always thinks himself unfit to 
serve Krsna. So Akrura began to think within himself that he was unfit 
for gaining the transcendental opportunity of seeing the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead. He considered himself as unfit for seeing Krsna 
as a materialistic person is for understanding the science of God or as a 
fourth-class person (a sildra) is for studying the Vedas. But then Akrura 
began to think, "By the grace of Krsna everything is possible, and thus if 
He likes, I will be able to see Him. Just as a blade of grass floating on the 
waves of a river may by chance come near the shore and gain shelter, a 
conditioned soul carried away by the waves of material existence may 
sometimes be saved by the grace of Krsna." Akrura thus thought that if 
Krsna willed, he would be able to see Him. Akrura considered himself 
most fortunate that he was going to see Krsna, whom great mystic yogis 
desire to see. He was confident that on that day all the sinful reactions 
of his past life would be finished and his fortunate human form of life 
would be successful. Akrura also considered that he was very much 
favored by Karhsa, who was sending him to bring back Krsna and 
Balarama and thus enabling him to see the Lord. Akrura continued to 
consider that formerly great sages and saintly persons were liberated 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



14 



from the material world simply by seeing the shining nails of the lotus 
feet of Krsna. 

"That Supreme Personality of Godhead has now come just like an 
ordinary human being, and it is my great fortune to be able to see Him 
face to face," Akrura thought. He was thrilled with expectations of 
seeing the very lotus feet which are worshiped by great demigods like 
Brahma, Narada and Lord Siva, which traverse the ground of 
Vrndavana, and which touch the breasts of the gopls, covered with 
tinges of kunkuma. He thought, "I am so fortunate that I will be able to 
see those very lotus feet on this day, and certainly I shall be able to see 
the beautiful face of Krsna, which is marked on the forehead and the 
nose with tilaka. And I shall also see His smile and His curling black 
hair. I can be sure of this opportunity because I see that today the deer 
are passing on my right side. Today it will be possible for me to actually 
see the beauty of the spiritual kingdom of Visnuloka because Krsna is 
the Supreme Visnu and He has advented Himself out of His own good 
will. He is the reservoir of all beauty; therefore today my eyes will 
achieve perfection." 

Akrura knew beyond a doubt that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Visnu. 
Lord Visnu glances over the material energy, and thus the cosmic 
manifestation comes into being. And although Lord Visnu is the creator 
of this material world, He is free, by His own energy, from the influence 
of the material energy. By His internal potency He can pierce the 
darkness of the material energy. Similarly, Krsna, the original Visnu, by 
expanding His internal potency, created the inhabitants of Vrndavana. 
In the Brahma-sarhhitd it is confirmed that the paraphernalia and the 
abode of Krsna are expansions of His internal potency. The same 
internal potency Krsna exhibits in Goloka Vrndavana is exhibited in 
the earthly Vrndavana, where He enjoys Himself with His parents and 
in the company of His friends, the cowherd boys and gopls. By the 
statement of Akrura it is clear that, since Krsna is transcendental to the 
modes of material nature, the inhabitants of Vrndavana, who are always 
engaged in loving service to the Lord, are also transcendental. 
Akrura also considered the necessity of the transcendental pastimes of 
the Lord. He thought that the transcendental activities, instructions, 
qualities and pastimes of Krsna are all for the good fortune of people in 



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15 



general. The people can remain constantly in Krsna consciousness by 
discussing the Lord's transcendental form, qualities, pastimes and 
paraphernalia. By doing so, the whole universe can actually live 
auspiciously and advance peacefully. But without Krsna consciousness, 
civilization is but a decorated dead body. A dead body may be decorated 
very nicely, but without consciousness such decorations are useless. 
Human society without Krsna consciousness is useless and lifeless. 
Akrura thought, "That Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, has 
now appeared as one of the descendants of the Yadu dynasty. The 
principles of religion are His enacted laws. Those who are abiding by 
such laws are demigods, and those who are not abiding are demons. He 
has advented Himself to give protection to the demigods, who are very 
obedient to the laws of the Supreme Lord. The demigods and the 
devotees of the Lord take pleasure in abiding by the laws of Krsna, and 
Krsna takes pleasure in giving them all sorts of protection. These 
activities of Krsna — His protecting the devotees and killing the demons, 
as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gltd — are always good for men to hear and 
narrate. The glorious activities of the Lord will ever increasingly be 
chanted by the devotees and demigods. 

"Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the spiritual master of 
all spiritual masters; He is the deliverer of all fallen souls and the 
proprietor of the three worlds. Anyone who is able to see Him by eyes 
smeared with love of Godhead enjoys a festival of seeing. Today I shall 
be able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who by His 
transcendental beauty has attracted the goddess of fortune to live with 
Him perpetually. As soon as I arrive in Vrndavana, I will get down from 
this chariot and fall prostrate to offer my obeisances to the Supreme 
Lord, the master of material nature and all living entities. The lotus feet 
of Krsna are always worshiped by great mystic yogis, so I shall also 
worship His lotus feet and become one of His friends in Vrndavana like 
the cowherd boys. When I bow down before Lord Krsna in that way, 
certainly He will place His fearless lotus hand on my head. His hand is 
offered to all conditioned souls who take shelter under His lotus feet. 
Krsna is the ultimate goal of life for all people who fear material 
existence, and certainly when I see Him He will give me the shelter of 
His lotus feet. I am aspiring for the touch of His lotuslike hand on my 



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16 



head. When that hand touched the presentations of King Indra and 
King Bali, they became qualified to be lords of the universe, and when 
that hand touched the gopls as they danced with Krsna in the rasa-llla, it 
relieved all their fatigue." 

In this way Akrura expected blessings from the hand of Krsna. He knew 
that Indra, who is the King of heaven and the master of the three 
worlds — the upper, middle and lower planetary systems — was blessed by 
the Lord simply for his offering a little water which Krsna accepted. 
Similarly, Bali Maharaja gave only three paces of land in charity to 
Vamanadeva, and he also offered a little water which Lord Vamanadeva 
accepted, and thereby Bali Maharaja attained the position of Indra. 
When the gopls were dancing with Krsna in the rasa dance, they became 
fatigued, and Krsna wiped His hand, which is as fragrant as a lotus 
flower growing in Manasa-sarovara Lake, over the pearllike drops of 
perspiration on the faces of the gopls, and immediately they became 
refreshed. Thus Akrura was expecting benediction from that supreme 
hand of Krsna. Krsna's hand is capable of bestowing benediction upon 
all kinds of men if they take to Krsna consciousness. If one wants 
material happiness like the king of heaven, he can derive that 
benediction from the hand of Krsna; if one wants liberation from the 
pangs of material existence, he can also get that benediction from the 
hand of Krsna; and if one in pure transcendental love for Krsna wants 
personal association and the touch of His transcendental body, he can 
also gain that benediction from His hand. 

Akrura was afraid, however, of being deputed by Karhsa, the enemy of 
Krsna. He thought, "I am going to see Krsna as a messenger of the 
enemy." At the same time, he thought, "Krsna is in everyone's heart as 
the Supersoul, so He must know my heart." Although Akrura was 
trusted by the enemy of Krsna, his heart was clear. He was a pure 
devotee of Krsna. He risked becoming Kamsa's deputy just to meet 
Krsna. He was certain that although he was going as a representative of 
Karhsa, Krsna would not accept him as an enemy. "Even though I am on 
a sinful mission, being deputed by Karhsa, when I approach the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, I shall stand before Him with all humility and 
folded hands. Surely He will be pleased with my devotional attitude, and 
maybe He will smile lovingly and look upon me and thereby free me 



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17 



from all kinds of sinful reactions. I shall then be on the platform of 
transcendental bliss and knowledge. Since Krsna knows my heart, 
certainly when I approach Him, He will embrace me. Not only am I a 
member of the Yadu dynasty, but I am His relative and an unalloyed, 
pure devotee. By His merciful embrace, surely my body, heart and soul 
will be completely cleansed of the actions and reactions of my past life. 
When our bodies touch, I will immediately stand up with folded hands, 
with all humility. Certainly Krsna and Balarama will call me "Akrura, 
Uncle,' and at that time my whole life will be glorious. Unless one is 
recognized by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his life cannot be 
successful." 

It is clearly stated here that one should try to be recognized by the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead by one's service and devotion, without 
which the human form of life is condemned. As stated in the Bhagavad- 
gltd, the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, is equal to 
everyone. He has no friends and no enemies. But He is inclined to a 
devotee who renders Him service with devotional love. The Bhagavad- 
gltd also declares that the Supreme Lord is responsive in proportion to 
the devotional service rendered by the devotee. Akrura thought that 
Krsna was like the desire tree in the heavenly planets, which gives fruit 
according to the desire of the worshiper. The Supreme Personality of 
Godhead is also the source of everything. A devotee must know how to 
render service unto Him and thus be recognized by Him. In the 
Caitanya-caritdmrta it is therefore explained that one should serve both 
the spiritual master and Krsna simultaneously and in that way make 
progress in Krsna consciousness. Service rendered to Krsna under the 
direction of the spiritual master is bona fide service because the spiritual 
master is the manifested representative of Krsna. Sri Visvanatha 
Cakravarti Thakura says that when one satisfies the spiritual master, he 
satisfies the Supreme Lord. It is exactly like service in a government 
office. One has to work under the supervision of the departmental head. 
If the supervisor of the department is satisfied with the service of a 
particular person, a promotion and increase in pay will automatically 
come. 

Akrura then thought, "When Krsna and Balarama are pleased with my 
behavior, certainly They will take my hand, receive me within Their 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



18 



home and offer me all kinds of respectable hospitalities, and They will 
surely ask me about the activities of Kamsa and his friends." 
In this way, Akrura, the son of Svaphalka, meditated on Sri Krsna on his 
journey from Mathura. He reached Vrndavana by the end of the day. 
Akrura passed the whole journey without knowing how long it took. 
When he reached Vrndavana, the sun was setting. As soon as he entered 
the boundary of Vrndavana, he saw the hoofprints of the cows and Lord 
Krsna's footprints, impressed with the signs of His soles — the flag, 
trident, thunderbolt and lotus flower. These symbols on the soles of the 
Lord's transcendental lotus feet are worshiped by all the demigods and 
other great personalities throughout the three worlds. Upon seeing the 
footprints of Krsna, Akrura immediately jumped down from the chariot 
out of respect. He became overwhelmed with all the symptoms of 
ecstasy; he wept, and his body trembled. Out of extreme jubilation upon 
seeing the dust touched by the lotus feet of Krsna, Akrura fell flat on his 
face and began to roll on the ground. 

Akrura's journey to Vrndavana is exemplary. One who intends to visit 
Vrndavana should follow the ideal footsteps of Akrura and always think 
of the pastimes and activities of the Lord. As soon as one reaches the 
boundary of Vrndavana, he should immediately smear the dust of 
Vrndavana over his body without thinking of his material position and 
prestige. Srlla Narottama dasa Thakura has sung in a celebrated song, 
visaya chddiyd kabe suddha habe mana: "When my mind will be purified 
after leaving the contamination of material sense enjoyment, I shall be 
able to visit Vrndavana." Actually, one cannot go to Vrndavana by 
purchasing a ticket. The process of going to Vrndavana is shown by 
Akrura. 

When Akrura entered Vrndavana, he saw Krsna and Balarama engaged 
in supervising the milking of the cows. Krsna was dressed in yellow 
garments and Balarama in bluish. Akrura also saw that Their eyes were 
exactly like the beautiful lotus flower that grows during the autumn 
season. He saw Krsna and Balarama in the spring of Their youth. 
Although They had the same bodily features, Krsna was blackish in 
complexion, whereas Balarama was whitish. Both were the shelter of the 
goddess of fortune. They had well-constructed bodies, beautiful hands 
and pleasing faces, and They were as strong as elephants. Now, after 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



19 



seeing Their footprints, marked with flag, trident, thunderbolt and lotus, 
Akrura actually saw Krsna and Balarama face to face. Although They 
were the most influential personalities, They were glancing at him with 
smiling faces. Akrura could understand that both Krsna and Balarama 
had returned from tending cows in the forest; They had taken Their 
baths and were dressed with fresh clothing and garlanded with flowers 
and necklaces made of valuable jewels. Their bodies were smeared with 
the pulp of sandalwood. Akrura greatly appreciated the aroma of flowers 
and sandalwood and Their bodily presence. He considered himself very 
fortunate to see Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His 
plenary expansion, Balarama, face to face, for he knew that They were 
the original personalities of the creation. 

As stated in the Brahma- sarhhita, Krsna is the original Personality of 
Godhead and the cause of all causes. Akrura could understand that the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead had appeared personally for the 
welfare of His creation, to reestablish the principles of religion and to 
annihilate the demons. With Their bodily effulgence the brothers were 
dissipating all the darkness of the world, as if They were mountains of 
sapphire and silver. Without hesitating, Akrura immediately got down 
from his chariot and fell flat, just like a rod, before Krsna and Balarama. 
Upon touching the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he 
became overwhelmed with transcendental bliss; his voice choked up, and 
he could not speak. Due to his transcendental pleasure, incessant 
torrents of tears fell from his eyes. He remained stunned in ecstasy, as if 
devoid of all powers to see and speak. Lord Krsna, who is very kind to 
His devotees, raised Akrura with His hand and embraced him. It 
appeared that Lord Krsna was very pleased with Akrura. Balarama also 
embraced Akrura. Taking him by the hand, Krsna and Balarama brought 
him to Their sitting room, where They offered him a very nice sitting 
place and water for washing his feet. They also worshiped him with a 
suitable presentation of honey mixed with other ingredients. When 
Akrura was thus comfortably seated, Krsna and Balarama offered Him a 
cow in charity and then brought very palatable dishes, and Akrura 
accepted them. When Akrura finished eating, Balarama gave him betel 
nut and spices, as well as pulp of sandalwood, just to make him more 
pleased and comfortable. The Vedic system of receiving a guest was 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



20 



completely observed by Lord Krsna Himself to teach all others how to 
receive a guest at home. It is a Vedic injunction that even if a guest is an 
enemy he should be received so well that he does not apprehend any 
danger from the host. If the host is a poor man, he should at least offer a 
straw mat as a sitting place and a glass of water to drink. Krsna and 
Balarama welcomed Akrura in a way just befitting his exalted position. 
After Akrura was thus properly received and seated, Nanda Maharaja, 
the foster father of Krsna, said, "My dear Akrura, what shall I inquire 
from you? I know that you are being protected by Kamsa, who is most 
cruel and demoniac. His protection is just like the slaughterhouse 
keeper's protection of animals he will kill in the future. Kamsa is so 
selfish that he has killed the sons of his own sister, so how can I honestly 
believe that he is protecting the citizens of Mathura?" This statement is 
most significant. If the political or executive heads of the state are 
simply interested in themselves, they can never look after the welfare of 
the citizens. 

As Nanda Maharaja spoke to Akrura with pleasing words, Akrura forgot 
all the fatigue of his day's journey from Mathura to Vrndavana. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Thirty-eighth Chapter of 
Krsna, "Akrura's Arrival in Vrndavana." 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



21 



CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE 

Akrura* s Return lourney and His Vision of 

Visnuloka Within the Yamuna River 

Akrura was warmly received by Lord Krsna and Nanda Maharaja and 
offered a resting place for the night. In the meantime, the two brothers 
Balarama and Krsna went to take Their supper. Akrura sat on his bed 
and began to reflect that all the desires he had contemplated while 
coming from Mathura to Vrndavana had been fulfilled. Lord Krsna is 
the husband of the goddess of fortune; being pleased with His pure 
devotee, He can offer whatever the devotee desires. But the pure 
devotee does not ask anything from the Lord for his personal benefit. 
After taking His supper, Krsna came to bid goodnight to Akrura and 
asked him how Kamsa was dealing with Krsna's friends and relatives. He 
also inquired into Kamsa's plans. The Supreme Personality of Godhead 
then informed Akrura that his presence was very welcome. He inquired 
from him whether all his relatives and friends were well and free from 
all kinds of ailments. Krsna stated that He was very sorry that His 
maternal uncle Kamsa was the head of the kingdom; He said that Kamsa 
was the greatest anomaly in the whole system of government and that 
they could not expect any welfare for the citizens while he ruled. Then 
Krsna said, "My father has undergone much tribulation simply from My 
being his son. For this reason also he has lost many other sons. I think 
Myself so fortunate that you have come as My friend and relative. My 
dear uncle Akrura, please tell Me the purpose of your coming to 
Vrndavana." 

After this inquiry, Akrura, who belonged to the dynasty of Yadu, 
explained the recent events in Mathura, including Kamsa's attempt to 
kill Vasudeva, the father of Krsna. He related the things which 
happened after the disclosure by Narada that Krsna was the son of 
Vasudeva, hidden by Vasudeva in the house of Nanda Maharaja. Akrura 
narrated all the stories regarding Kamsa. He told how Narada met 
Kamsa and how he himself was deputed by Kamsa to come to 
Vrndavana. Akrura explained to Krsna that Narada had told Kamsa all 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



22 



about Krsna's being transferred from Mathura to Vrndavana just after 
His birth and about His killing all the demons sent by Karhsa. Akrura 
then explained to Krsna the purpose of his coming to Vrndavana: to 
take Him back to Mathura. After hearing of these arrangements, 
Balarama and Krsna, who are very expert in killing opponents, mildly 
laughed at the plans of Karhsa. 

They immediately informed Nanda Maharaja that Karhsa had invited all 
the cowherd men and boys to go to Mathura to participate in the 
ceremony known as Dhanur-yajfia. Karhsa wanted them all to go there 
to participate in the function. On Krsna's word, Nanda Maharaja at 
once called for the cowherd men and asked them to collect milk and all 
kinds of milk products to present to the King in the ceremony. He also 
sent instructions to the police chief of Vrndavana to tell all the 
inhabitants about Karhsa's great Dhanur-yajfia function and invite them 
to join. Nanda Maharaja informed the cowherd men that they would 
start the next morning. They therefore arranged for the cows and bulls 
to carry them all to Mathura. 

When the gopls heard that Akrura had come to take Krsna and 
Balarama away to Mathura, they became overwhelmed with anxiety. 
Some of them became so aggrieved that their faces turned black and 
they began to breathe warmly and had palpitations of the heart. They 
discovered that their hair and clothes immediately loosened. Hearing 
the news that Krsna and Balarama were leaving for Mathura, others, 
who were engaged in household duties, stopped working, as if they had 
forgotten everything, like a person who is called forth to die and leave 
this world at once. Others immediately fainted due to separation from 
Krsna. Remembering His attractive smile and His talks with them, the 
gopls became overwhelmed with grief. They all remembered the 
characteristics of the Personality of Godhead, how He moved within the 
area of Vrndavana and how, with joking words, He attracted all their 
hearts. Thinking of Krsna and of their imminent separation from Him, 
the gopls assembled together with heavily beating hearts. They were 
completely absorbed in thought of Krsna, and with tears falling from 
their eyes, they spoke as follows. 

"O Providence, you are so cruel! It appears that you do not know how to 
show mercy to others. By your arrangement, friends contact one 



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23 



another, but without fulfilling their desires you separate them. This is 
exactly like a child's game that has no meaning. It is very abominable 
that you arrange to show us beautiful Krsna, whose bluish curling hair 
beautifies His broad forehead and sharp nose, and who is always smiling 
to minimize all grief in this material world, and then arrange to separate 
Him from us. O Providence, you are so cruel! But most astonishingly you 
appear now as Akrura, which means "not cruel.' In the beginning we 
appreciated your workmanship in giving us these eyes to see the 
beautiful face of Krsna, but now, just like a foolish creature, you are 
taking away our eyes by not letting us see Krsna here anymore. Krsna, 
the son of Nanda Maharaja, is also very cruel! He must always have new 
friends; He does not like to keep friendship for a long time with anyone. 
We gopis of Vrndavana, having left our homes, friends and relatives, 
have become Krsna's maidservants, but He is neglecting us and going 
away. He does not even look upon us, although we are completely 
surrendered unto Him. Now all the young girls in Mathura will have the 
opportunity. They are expecting Krsna's arrival, and they will enjoy His 
sweet smiling face and will drink its honey. Although we know that 
Krsna is very steady and determined, we are afraid that as soon as He 
sees the beautiful faces of the young girls in Mathura, He will forget 
Himself. We fear He will become controlled by them and will forget us, 
for we are simple village girls. He will no longer be kind to us. We 
therefore do not expect Krsna to return to Vrndavana. He will not leave 
the company of the girls in Mathura." 

The gopis began to imagine the great functions in the city of Mathura. 
Krsna would pass through the streets, and the ladies and young girls of 
the city would see Him from the balconies of their respective houses. 
Mathura City contained different communities, known then as Dasarha, 
Bhoja, Andhaka and Satvata. All these communities were different 
branches of the same family in which Krsna appeared, namely the Yadu 
dynasty. They were all expecting the arrival of Krsna. It had already 
been ascertained that Krsna, who is the resting place of the goddess of 
fortune and the reservoir of all pleasure and transcendental qualities, 
was going to visit Mathura City. 

The gopis then began to condemn the activities of Akrura. They stated 
that he was taking Krsna, who was more dear than the dearest to them 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



24 



and who was the pleasure of their eyes. He was being taken from their 
sight without their being informed or solaced by Akrura. Akrura should 
not have been so merciless but should have taken compassion on them. 
The gopls went on to say, "The most astonishing feature is that Krsna, 
the son of Nanda, without consideration, has already seated Himself on 
the chariot. From this it appears that Krsna is not very intelligent. Yet 
He may be very intelligent — but He is not very merciful. Not only Krsna 
but all the cowherd men are so callous that they are already yoking the 
bulls and calves for the journey to Mathura. The elderly persons in 
Vrndavana are also merciless; they do not take our plight into 
consideration and stop Krsna's journey to Mathura. Even the demigods 
are very unkind to us; they are also not impeding His going to Mathura." 
The gopls prayed to the demigods to create some natural disturbance, 
such as a hurricane, storm or heavy rainfall, so that Krsna could not go 
to Mathura. They then began to consider, "Despite our parents and 
guardians, we shall personally stop Krsna from going to Mathura. We 
have no alternative but to take this direct action. Everyone has gone 
against us to take away Krsna from our sight. Without Him we cannot 
live for a moment." The gopls thus decided to obstruct the passage 
through which the chariot of Krsna was supposed to pass. They began to 
talk among themselves: "We have passed a very long night — which 
seemed only a moment — engaged in the rasa dance with Krsna. We 
looked at His sweet smile and embraced Him and talked with Him. Now, 
how shall we live even for a moment if He goes away from us? At the 
end of the day, in the evening, along with His elder brother Balarama, 
Krsna would return home with His friends. His face would be smeared 
with the dust raised by the hooves of the cows, and He would smile and 
play on His flute and look upon us so kindly. How shall we be able to 
forget Him? How shall we be able to forget Krsna, who is our life and 
soul? He has already taken away our hearts in so many ways throughout 
our days and nights, and if He goes away, there is no possibility of our 
continuing to live." Thinking like this, the gopls became more and more 
grief-stricken at Krsna's leaving Vrndavana. They could not check their 
minds, and they began to cry loudly, calling the different names of 
Krsna, "O dear Damodara! Dear Madhava!" 
The gopls cried all night before the departure of Krsna. As soon as the 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



25 



sun rose, Akrura finished his morning bath, got on the chariot and 
started for Mathura with Krsna and Balarama. Nanda Maharaja and the 
cowherd men got up on bullock carts after loading them with big 
earthen pots filled with yogurt, milk, ghee and other milk products, and 
then they began to follow the chariot of Krsna and Balarama. In spite of 
Krsna's asking the gopls not to obstruct their way, they all surrounded 
the chariot and stood up to see Krsna with pitiable eyes. Krsna was very 
much affected upon seeing the plight of the gopls, but His duty was to 
start for Mathura, for this was foretold by Narada. Krsna, therefore, 
consoled the gopls. He told them that they should not be aggrieved: He 
was coming back very soon after finishing His business. But they could 
not be persuaded to disperse. The chariot, however, began to head west, 
and as it proceeded, the minds of the gopls followed it as far as possible. 
They watched the flag on the chariot as long as it was visible; finally 
they could see only the dust of the chariot in the distance. The gopls did 
not move from their places but stood until the chariot could not be seen 
at all. They remained standing still, as if they were painted pictures. All 
the gopls decided that Krsna was not returning immediately, and with 
greatly disappointed hearts they returned to their respective homes. 
Being greatly disturbed by the absence of Krsna, they simply thought all 
day and night about His pastimes and thus derived some consolation. 
The Lord, accompanied by Akrura and Balarama, traveled in the chariot 
with great speed towards the bank of the Yamuna. Simply by taking a 
bath in the Yamuna, anyone can diminish the reactions of his sinful 
activities. Krsna and Balarama took Their baths in the river and washed 
Their faces. After drinking the transparent, crystal-clear water of the 
Yamuna, They took Their seats again on the chariot. The chariot was 
standing underneath the shade of big trees, and the two brothers sat 
down there. Akrura then took Their permission to also take a bath in 
the Yamuna. According to Vedic ritual, after taking a bath in a river, 
one should stand at least half submerged and murmur the Gayatri 
mantra. While he was standing in the river, Akrura suddenly saw 
Balarama and Krsna within the water. He was surprised to see Them 
there because he was confident that They were sitting on the chariot. 
Confused, he immediately came out of the water and went to see where 
the boys were, and he was very much surprised to see that They were 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



26 



sitting on the chariot as before. When he saw Them on the chariot, he 
began to wonder whether he had mistakenly seen Them in the water. He 
therefore went back to the river. This time he saw not only Balarama 
and Krsna there but many of the demigods and all the Siddhas, Caranas 
and Gandharvas. They were all bowing down before the Lord. He also 

s s 

saw Lord Sesa Naga, with thousands of hoods. Lord Sesa Naga was 
covered with bluish garments, and His necks were all white. The white 
necks of Sesa Naga appeared exactly like snowcapped mountains. On 
the coiled lap of Sesa Naga, Akrura saw Krsna sitting very soberly, with 
four hands. His eyes were like the reddish petals of the lotus flower. 
In other words, after returning to the Yamuna, Akrura saw Balarama 
turned into Sesa Naga and Krsna turned into Maha-Visnu. He saw the 
four-handed Supreme Personality of Godhead, smiling very beautifully. 
He was very pleasing to all and was looking towards everyone with a 
merciful glance. He appeared beautiful with His raised nose, broad 
forehead, attractive ears and reddish lips. His arms, reaching to the 
knees, were very strongly built. His shoulders were high, His chest was 
very broad, and His neck was shaped like a conchshell. His navel was 
very deep, and His abdomen was marked with three lines. His waist was 
broad and big, resembling the hips of a woman, and His thighs resembled 
the trunks of elephants. The other parts of His legs, the joints and lower 
extremities, were all very beautiful, the nails of His feet were dazzling, 
and His toes were as beautiful as the petals of the lotus flower. His 
helmet was decorated with very valuable jewels. There was a nice belt 
around His waist, and He wore a sacred thread across His broad chest. 
Bangles were on His hands, and armlets on the upper portion of His 
arms. He wore bells on His ankles. He possessed dazzling beauty, and His 
palms were like the lotus flower. He was still more beautified by the 
different emblems of the visnu-murti — the conchshell, club, disc and 
lotus flower — which He held in His four hands. His chest was marked 
with the particular signs of Visnu, and He wore fresh flower garlands. 
All in all, He was very beautiful to look at. Akrura also saw His Lordship 
surrounded by intimate associates like the four Kumaras — Sanaka, 
Sanatana, Sananda and Sanat-kumara — and other associates like 
Sunanda and Nanda, as well as demigods like Brahma and Lord Siva. 
The nine great learned sages were there, and also devotees like Prahlada 



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27 



and Narada and the eight Vasus. All were engaged in offering prayers to 
the Lord with clean hearts and pure words. After seeing the 
transcendental Personality of Godhead, Akrura immediately became 
overwhelmed with joy and great devotion, and all over his body there 
was transcendental shivering. Although for the moment he was 
bewildered, he retained his clear consciousness and bowed down his 
head before the Lord. With folded hands and faltering voice, he began 
to offer prayers to the Lord. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Thirty-ninth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Akrura's Return Journey and His Vision of Visnuloka Within the 
Yamuna River." 



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28 



CHAPTER FORTY 
Prayers by Akrura 

Akrura offered his prayers as follows: "My dear Lord, I offer my 
respectful obeisances unto You because You are the supreme cause of all 
causes and the original inexhaustible personality, Narayana. From Your 
navel a lotus flower grows, and from that lotus Brahma, the creator of 
this universe, is born. Since Brahma is the cause of this universe, You 
are the cause of all causes. The elements of this cosmic manifestation — 
earth, water, fire, air, ether, ego and the total material energy, as well as 
nature, the marginal energy, the living entities, the mind, the senses, the 
sense objects and the demigods who control the affairs of the cosmos — 
are all produced from Your body. You are the Supersoul of everything, 
but no one knows Your transcendental form. Everyone within this 
material world is influenced by the modes of material nature. Even 
demigods like Lord Brahma, being covered by the influence of material 
nature, do not exactly know Your transcendental existence beyond the 
cosmic manifestation of the three modes of material nature. Great sages 
and mystics worship You as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the 
original cause of all living entities, all cosmic manifestation and all 
demigods. They worship You as all-inclusive. Some of the learned 
brdhmanas also worship You by observing Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. 
They offer different kinds of sacrifices in the names of different gods. 
And there are others also, who are fond of worshiping transcendental 
knowledge. They are very peaceful, and after giving up all kinds of 
material activities, they engage in the sacrifice known as jndna-yajfia, 
the philosophical search for You. 

"There are devotees, also known as bhdgavatas, who worship You as the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead. After being properly initiated in the 
method of Pancardtra, they decorate their bodies with tilaka and engage 
in worshiping Your different forms of visnu-murti. There are others also, 
known as Saivites, followers of different dcdryas, who worship You in 
the form of Lord Siva." 

It is stated in the Bhagavad-gltd that worship of demigods is also 
indirectly worship of the Supreme Lord. But such worship is not 



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29 



orthodox, because the worshipable Lord is the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, Narayana. Demigods such as Brahma and Siva are 
incarnations of the material qualities, which are also emanations from 
the body of Narayana. Actually, there was no one existing before the 
creation except Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The 
worship of a demigod is not on the level with worship of Narayana. 
Akrura said, "Although the minds of those who are devotees of the 
demigods are fixed on a particular demigod, because You are the 
Supersoul of all living entities, including the demigods, worship of the 
demigods indirectly goes to You. Sometimes, after flowing down from 
the mountains during the rainy season, small rivers fail to reach the sea; 
some reach the sea and some do not. Similarly, the worshipers of the 
demigods may or may not reach You. There is no guarantee. Their 
success depends on the strength of their worship." 
According to the Vedic principles, when a worshiper worships a 
particular demigod, he also conducts some ritual for Narayana, 
Yajnesvara, for, as it is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gltd, the demigods 
cannot fulfill the desires of their worshipers without the sanction of 
Narayana, or Krsna. The exact words used in the Bhagavad-gltd are 
mayaiva vihitdn hi tan, which mean that the demigods can award some 
benediction after being authorized by the Supreme Lord. When a 
demigod worshiper comes to his senses, he can reason as follows: "The 
demigods can offer benedictions only after being empowered by the 
Supreme Lord, so why not worship the Supreme Lord directly?" Such a 
worshiper of the demigods may come to the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, but others, who take the demigods as all in all, cannot reach 
the ultimate goal. 

Akrura continued to pray, "My dear Lord, the whole world is filled with 
the three material modes of nature, namely goodness, passion and 
ignorance. Everyone within this material world is covered by these 
modes, from Lord Brahma down to the immovable plants and trees. My 
dear Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You because You are 
beyond the influence of the three modes. Except for You, everyone is 
being carried away by the waves of these modes. My dear Lord, fire is 
Your mouth, the earth is Your feet, the sun is Your eye, the sky is Your 
navel, and the directions are Your ears. Space is Your head, the 



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30 



demigods are Your arms, the oceans and seas are Your abdomen, and the 
winds and air are Your strength and vitality. All the plants and herbs are 
the hairs on Your body, the clouds are the hair on Your head, the 
mountains are Your bones and nails, the days and nights are the 
blinking of Your eyelids, Prajapati (the progenitor) is Your genitals, and 
the rains are Your semen. 

"My dear Lord, all living entities, including different grades of demigods 
and different grades of overlords, kings and other living entities, are 
resting in You as parts and parcels of the big unit. One cannot know You 
by experimental knowledge. One can simply understand Your 
transcendental existence to be like the great ocean, in which different 
grades of living entities are included, or like the udumbara fruit, out of 
which small mosquitoes come. My dear Lord, whatever eternal forms and 
incarnations You accept when You appear in this world are meant for 
relieving the living entities of their ignorance, illusion and lamentation. 
All people, therefore, can appreciate the incarnations and pastimes of 
Your Lordship and eternally glorify Your activities. No one can estimate 
how many forms and incarnations You have, nor can anyone estimate 
the number of universes that are existing within You. 
"Let me therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto the fish 
incarnation, who appeared in devastation although Your Lordship is the 
cause of all causes. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the 
Hayagrlva incarnation, who killed the two demons Madhu and 
Kaitabha; let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appeared 
as the gigantic tortoise that held up the great mountain Mandara and 
who appeared as the boar that rescued the earth planet, which had fallen 
into the water of the Garbhodaka. Let me offer my respectful obeisances 
unto Your Lordship, who appeared as Nrsimhadeva to deliver all kinds 
of devotees from the fearful condition of atheistic atrocities. Let me 
offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appeared as Vamanadeva 
and covered the three worlds simply by extending Your lotus feet. Let 
me offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appeared as the Lord of 
the Bhrgus in order to kill all the infidel administrators of the world. 
And let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appeared as 
Lord Rama to kill demons like Ravana. You are worshiped by all 
devotees as the chief of the Raghu dynasty, Lord Ramacandra. Let me 



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31 



offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appear as Lord Vasudeva, 
Lord Sarikarsana, Lord Pradyumna and Lord Aniruddha. Let me offer 
my respectful obeisances unto You, who appear as Lord Buddha to 
bewilder the atheistic and demoniac. And let me offer my respectful 
obeisances unto You, who appear as Kalki to chastise the so-called royal 
order degraded to the abominable condition of the mlecchas, who are 
below the jurisdiction of Vedic regulative principles. 
"My dear Lord, everyone within this material world is conditioned by 
Your illusory energy. Under the impression of false identification and 
false possession, everyone is transmigrating from one body to another on 
the path of fruitive activities and their reactions. My dear Lord, I am no 
exception among these conditioned souls. I am falsely thinking myself 
happy in possessing my home, wife, children, state, property and friends. 
In this way I am acting as if in a dreamland, because none of these are 
permanent. I am a fool to be always absorbed in thoughts of such things, 
accepting them as permanent truths. My dear Lord, due to my false 
identification, I have accepted as permanent everything which is 
nonpermanent, such as this material body, which is not spiritual and is 
the source of all kinds of miserable conditions. Being bewildered by such 
concepts of life, I am always absorbed in thoughts of duality, and I have 
forgotten You who are the reservoir of all transcendental pleasure. I am 
bereft of Your transcendental association, being just like a foolish 
creature who leaves the water spot, which is covered by water-nourished 
vegetation, and goes in search of water in the desert. The conditioned 
souls want to quench their thirst, but they do not know where to find 
water. They give up the spot where there is actually a reservoir of water 
and run into the desert, where there is no water. My dear Lord, I am 
completely incapable of controlling my mind, which is now driven by 
the unbridled senses and is attracted by fruitive activities and their 
results. Therefore, my intelligence is very miserly. My dear Lord, Your 
lotus feet cannot be appreciated by any person in the conditioned stage 
of material existence, but somehow or other I have come near Your lotus 
feet, and I consider this to be Your causeless mercy upon me. You can 
act in any way because You are the supreme controller. I can thus 
understand that when a person becomes eligible to be delivered from the 
path of repeated birth and death, it is only by Your causeless mercy that 



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32 



he comes nearer to Your lotus feet and becomes attached to Your 
devotional service." 

Akrura fell down before the Lord and said, "My dear Lord, Your 
transcendental, eternal form is full of knowledge. Simply by 
concentrating one's mind upon Your form, one can understand in full 
knowledge everything that be, because You are the original source of all 
knowledge. You are the supreme powerful, possessing all kinds of 
energies. You are the Supreme Brahman and the Supreme Person, 
supreme controller and master of the material energies. I offer my 
respectful obeisances unto You because You are Vasudeva, the resting 
place of all creation. You are the all-pervading Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, and You are also the Supreme Soul residing in everyone's 
heart and giving direction to act. Now, my Lord, I am completely 
surrendered unto You. Please give me Your protection." 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fortieth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Prayers by Akrura." 



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33 



CHAPTER FORTY-ONE 
Krsna Enters Mathura 

While Akrura was offering his prayers to the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, the Lord disappeared from the water, exactly as an expert 
dramatic actor changes his dress and assumes his original feature. After 
the visnu-murti disappeared, Akrura got out of the water. Finishing the 
rest of his ritualistic performance, he went near the chariot of Balarama 
and Krsna and was struck with wonder. Krsna asked whether he had 
seen something wonderful within the water or in space. Akrura said, 
"My dear Lord, all wonderful things that are happening within this 
world, either in the sky or in the water or on the land, are factually 
appearing in Your universal form. So when I have seen You, what 
wonderful things have I not seen?" This statement confirms the Vedic 
version that one who knows Krsna knows everything and that one who 
has seen Krsna has seen everything, regardless of how wonderful a thing 
may be. "My dear Lord," Akrura continued, "there cannot be anything 
more wonderful than Your transcendental form. When I have seen Your 
transcendental form, what is there left to see?" 

After saying this, Akrura immediately started driving the chariot, and 
by the end of the day they reached the precincts of Mathura. As they 
rode from Vrndavana to Mathura, all the passersby along the way who 
saw Krsna and Balarama could not help but look at Them again and 
again. In the meantime, the other inhabitants of Vrndavana, headed by 
Nanda and Upananda, had already reached Mathura by going through 
the forests, and they were awaiting the arrival of Krsna and Balarama in 
a garden. Upon reaching the entrance to Mathura, Krsna and Balarama 
got down from the chariot and shook hands with Akrura. Krsna 
informed him, "You may go home now because We shall enter Mathura 
later, along with Our associates." Akrura replied, "My dear Lord, I 
cannot go to Mathura alone, leaving You aside. I am Your surrendered 
servant. Please do not try to avoid me. Please, come along with me, with 
Your elder brother and cowherd boyfriends, and sanctify my house. My 
dear Lord, if You come, my home will be sanctified by the dust of Your 
lotus feet. The water emanating from the perspiration of Your lotus feet, 



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34 



namely the Ganges, purifies everyone, including the forefathers, the 
fire-god and all other demigods. Bali Maharaja has become famous 
simply by washing Your lotus feet, and he enjoyed all material opulences 
and later on was elevated to the highest position of liberation. The 
Ganges water not only sanctifies the three worlds but is carried on the 
head of Lord Siva. The ancestors of Bhagiratha, sanctified by this water, 
achieved the heavenly planets. O Supreme Lord of lords! O master of 
the universe! One can achieve piety simply by hearing about Your 
transcendental pastimes. O Supreme Narayana, who are praised by 
selected verses, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You." 
On hearing this, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, replied, 
"Akrura, I shall surely come to your home with My elder brother, 
Balarama, but only after killing all the demons who are envious of the 
Yadu dynasty. In this way I shall please all My relatives." Akrura became 
a little disappointed by these words of the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, but he could not disregard the order. He therefore entered 
Mathura and informed Karhsa about the arrival of Krsna, and then he 
entered his own home. 

After Akrura's departure, Lord Krsna, Balarama and the cowherd boys 
entered Mathura to see the city. They observed that the gate of Mathura 
was made of first-class marble, very well constructed, and that the doors 
were made of pure gold. There were gorgeous orchards and gardens all 
around, and the whole city was encircled by canals so that no enemy 
could enter very easily. They saw that all the crossings of the roads were 
decorated with gold and that there were copper and brass storehouses for 
stocking grain. And there were many rich men's houses, all appearing 
symmetrical, as if constructed by one engineer. The houses were 
decorated with costly jewels, and each and every house had nice 
compounds of trees bearing fruits and flowers. The corridors and 
verandas of the houses were decorated with silk cloth and embroidery 
work in jewels and pearls. In front of the balcony windows were pigeons 
and peacocks walking and cooing. All the grain dealers' shops within the 
city were decorated with different kinds of flowers and garlands, newly 
grown grass and pleasing flowers like narcissus and roses. The entrance 
doors of the houses were decorated with waterpots filled with water. 
Water mixed with yogurt, sandalwood pulp and flowers was sprinkled all 



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35 



around the doors, which were also decorated with burning lamps of 
different sizes. Over the doors were decorations of fresh mango leaves 
and silk festoons. All the doors were decorated in that way. 
When the news spread that Krsna, Balarama and the cowherd boys were 
within Mathura City, all the inhabitants gathered, and the ladies and 
girls immediately went up to the roofs of the houses to see Them. They 
had been awaiting the arrival of Krsna and Balarama with great anxiety, 
and in their extreme eagerness to see Krsna and Balarama, the ladies did 
not dress themselves very properly. Some of them placed their clothes in 
the wrong place. Some anointed their eyes on one side only, and some 
wore ankle bells only on one leg or wore only one earring. Thus in great 
haste, not even decorated properly, they went to see Krsna from the 
roofs. Some of them had been taking their lunch, but as soon as they 
heard that Krsna and Balarama were in the city, they left their eating 
and ran to the roofs. Some of them were in the bathroom taking their 
baths, but without properly finishing their baths, they went to see Krsna 
and Balarama. Some were engaged in feeding their children breast milk, 
but they put their babies aside and went to see Krsna and Balarama. 
Passing by very slowly and smiling, Lord Krsna immediately stole their 
hearts. He who is the husband of the goddess of fortune passed through 
the street like an elephant. For a very long time the women of Mathura 
had heard about Krsna and Balarama and Their uncommon 
characteristics, and they were very much attracted and eager to see 
Them. Now when they actually saw Krsna and Balarama passing on the 
street and saw Them sweetly smiling, the ladies' joy reached the point of 
ecstasy. When they actually saw Them with their eyes, they took Krsna 
and Balarama within their hearts and began to embrace Them to their 
fullest desire. Their bodily hairs stood up in ecstasy. They had heard of 
Krsna, but they had never seen Him, and now their longing was relieved. 
After going up on the roofs of the palaces of Mathura, the ladies, their 
faces joyful, began to shower flowers upon Krsna and Balarama. When 
the brothers were passing through the streets, all the brdhmanas in the 
neighborhood also went out with sandal water and flowers and 
respectfully welcomed Them to the city. All the residents of Mathura 
began to talk among themselves about the elevated and pious activities 
of the people of Vrndavana. The residents of Mathura were surprised at 



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36 



the pious activities the cowherd men in Vrndavana must have 
performed in their previous lives to be able to see Krsna and Balarama 
daily as cowherd boys. 

While Krsna and Balarama were passing in this way, They saw a 
washerman and dyer of clothing. Krsna was pleased to ask him for some 
nice clothing. He also promised that if the washerman would deliver the 
nicest dyed cloth to Him, he would be very happy, and all good fortune 
would be his. Krsna was not a beggar, nor was He in need of clothing, 
but by this request He indicated that everyone should be ready to offer 
Krsna whatever He wants. That is the meaning of Krsna consciousness. 
Unfortunately, this washerman was a servant of Karhsa and therefore 
could not appreciate the demand of Lord Krsna, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead. This is the effect of bad association. He could 
have immediately delivered the clothing to the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, who promised him all good fortune, but being a servant of 
Karhsa, the sinful demon could not accept the offer. Instead of being 
pleased, he was very angry and refused the Lord's request, saying, "How 
is it that You are asking clothing which is meant for the King?" The 
washerman then began to instruct Krsna and Balarama: "My dear boys, 
in the future don't be so impudent as to ask for things which belong to 
the King. Otherwise, You will be punished by the government men. 
They will arrest You and punish You, and You will be in difficulty. I 
have practical experience of this fact. Anyone who unlawfully wants to 
use the King's property is very severely punished." 
On hearing this, Lord Krsna, the son of Devaki, became very angry at 
the washerman, and striking him with the upper portion of His hand, He 
separated the man's head from his body. The washerman fell down dead 
on the ground. In this way Lord Krsna confirmed the statement of the 
Brahma- sarhhita that every limb of His body is capable of doing 
everything He likes. Without a sword, but simply with His hand, He cut 
off the head of the washerman. This is proof that the Supreme Lord is 
omnipotent. If He wants to do something, He can do it without 
extraneous help. 

After this ghastly incident, the employees of the washerman 
immediately dispersed, leaving the clothing. Krsna and Balarama took 
possession of it and dressed according to Their choice; the rest of the 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



37 



clothes were offered to the cowherd boys, who also used them as they 
desired. What they did not use remained there. Krsna, Balarama and the 
boys then proceeded along the main road. In the meantime, a devotee- 
tailor took the opportunity of service and prepared some nice clothes 
from the cloth for Krsna and Balarama. Thus being very nicely attired, 
Krsna and Balarama looked like elephants dressed with colored clothing 
on the full-moon day or the dark-moon day. Krsna was very much 
pleased with the tailor and gave him the benediction of sdrupya-mukti, 
which means that after leaving his body he would be liberated and would 
attain a four-handed body exactly like that of Narayana in the 
Vaikuntha planets. He also granted him that as long as he would live he 
would earn sufficient opulence to be able to enjoy sense gratification. By 
this incident Krsna proved that those who are Krsna conscious devotees 
will not be lacking material enjoyment of sense gratification. They will 
have sufficient opportunity for such things, but after leaving this body 
they will be allowed to enter the spiritual planets of Vaikunthaloka or 
Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndavana. 

After dressing nicely, Krsna and Balarama went to a florist of the name 
Sudama. As soon as They reached the precinct of his house, the florist 
immediately came out and with great devotion fell down on his face to 
offer his respectful obeisances. He offered a nice seat to Krsna and 
Balarama and asked his assistant to bring out flowers, betel nuts and 
pulp of candana. The florist's welcome greatly satisfied the Lord. 
The florist very humbly and submissively offered his prayers to the Lord, 
saying, "My dear Lord, because You have come to my place, I think all 
my forefathers and all my worshipable superiors are pleased and 
delivered. My dear Lord, You are the supreme cause of all causes of this 
cosmic manifestation, but for the benefit of the residents of this earthly 
planet, You have appeared with Your plenary portion to give protection 
to Your devotees and annihilate the demons. You are equally disposed as 
the friend of all living entities; You are the Supersoul, and You do not 
discriminate between friend and enemy. Yet You are pleased to give 
Your devotees the special result of their devotional activities. My Lord, I 
am praying that You please tell me whatever You wish me to do, because 
I am Your eternal servant. If You would order me to do something, it 
would be a great favor to me." The florist, Sudama, was greatly pleased 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



38 



within his heart by seeing Krsna and Balarama in his place, and thus, as 
his choicest desire, he made two exquisite garlands of various flowers 
and presented them to the Lord. Krsna and Balarama were very pleased 
with his sincere service, and Krsna offered the florist His salutation and 
benedictions, which He is always prepared to bestow upon the 
surrendered souls. When the florist was offered benedictions, he begged 
from the Lord that he might remain His eternal servant in devotional 
service and by such service do good to all living creatures. By this, it is 
clear that a devotee of the Lord in Krsna consciousness should not be 
satisfied simply by his own advancement in devotional service; he must 
be willing to work for the welfare of all others. This example was 
followed by the six Gosvamls of Vrndavana. It is therefore stated in a 
prayer about them, lokanarh hita-karinau: Vaisnavas, or devotees of the 
Lord, are not selfish. Whatever benefits they derive from the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead as benedictions they want to distribute to all 
other persons. That is the greatest of all humanitarian activities. Being 
satisfied with the florist, Lord Krsna not only gave him whatever 
benedictions he wanted, but over and above that He offered him all 
material opulences, family prosperity, a long duration of life and 
whatever else his heart desired within the material world. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-first Chapter of Krsna, 
"Krsna Enters Mathura." 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



39 



CHAPTER FORTY-TWO 
The Breaking of the Bow in the Sacrificial Arena 

After leaving the florist's place, Krsna and Balarama saw a hunchbacked 
young woman carrying a dish of sandalwood pulp through the streets. 
Since Krsna is the reservoir of all pleasure, He wanted to make all His 
companions joyous by cutting a joke with the hunchbacked woman. 
Krsna addressed her, "O tall young woman, who are you? Tell Me, for 
whom are you carrying this sandalwood pulp in your hand? I think you 
should offer this sandalwood to Me, and if you do so I am sure you will be 
fortunate." Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He knew 
everything about the hunchback. By His inquiry He indicated that there 
was no use in serving a demon; she would do better to serve Krsna and 
Balarama and get an immediate result of the service. 
The woman replied to Krsna, "My dear Syamasundara, dear beautiful 
dark boy, You may know that I am engaged as a maidservant of Kamsa. I 
am supplying him pulp of sandalwood daily. The King is very much 
pleased with me for supplying this nice thing, but now I see that there is 
no one who can better be served by this pulp of sandalwood than You 
two brothers." Being captivated by the beautiful features of Krsna and 
Balarama, Their talking, Their smiling, Their glancing and Their other 
activities, the hunchbacked woman began to smear all the pulp of 
sandalwood over Their bodies with great satisfaction and devotion. The 
two transcendental brothers, Krsna and Balarama, were naturally 
beautiful and had beautiful complexions, and They were nicely dressed 
in colorful garments. The upper portions of Their bodies were already 
very attractive, and when the hunchbacked woman smeared Their 
bodies with sandalwood pulp, They looked even more beautiful. Krsna 
was very pleased by this service, and He began to consider how to reward 
her. In other words, in order to draw the attention of the Lord, the 
Krsna conscious devotee has to serve Him in great love and devotion. 
Krsna cannot be pleased by any action other than transcendental loving 
service unto Him. Thinking like this, Lord Krsna pressed the feet of the 
hunchbacked woman with His toes and, capturing her cheeks with His 
fingers, gave her a jerk in order to make her straight. At once the 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



40 



hunchbacked woman looked like a beautiful straight girl, with broad 
hips, thin waist and very nice, well-shaped breasts. Since Krsna was 
pleased with the service of the hunchbacked woman, and since she was 
touched by Krsna's hands, she became the most beautiful girl among 
women. This incident shows that by serving Krsna the devotee 
immediately becomes elevated to the most exalted position in all 
respects. Devotional service is so potent that anyone who takes to it 
becomes qualified with all godly qualities. Krsna was attracted to the 
hunchbacked woman not for her beauty but for her service; as soon as 
she rendered service, she immediately became the most beautiful 
woman. A Krsna conscious person does not have to be qualified or 
beautiful; after becoming Krsna conscious and rendering service unto 
Krsna, he becomes very qualified and beautiful. 
When the woman was turned by Krsna's favor into an exquisitely 
beautiful young girl, she naturally felt very much obliged to Krsna, and 
she was also attracted by His beauty. Without hesitation, she caught the 
rear part of His cloth and began to pull it. She smiled flirtatiously and 
admitted that she was agitated by lusty desires. She forgot that she was 
on the street and before the elder brother of Krsna and His friends. 
She frankly proposed to Krsna, "My dear hero, I cannot leave You in this 
way. You must come to my place. I am already very much attracted to 
Your beauty, so I must receive You well, and since You are the best 
among males, You must also be very kind upon me." In plain words she 
proposed that Krsna come to her home and satisfy her lusty desires. 
Krsna, of course, felt a little bit embarrassed in front of His elder 
brother, Balarama, but He knew that the girl was simple and attracted; 
therefore He simply smiled at her words. Looking towards His cowherd 
boyfriends, He replied to the girl, "My dear beautiful girl, I am very 
much pleased by your invitation, and I must come to your home after 
finishing My other business here. Such a beautiful girl as you is the only 
means of solace for persons like Us, who are away from home and not 
married. Certainly, a suitable girlfriend like you can give Us relief from 
all kinds of mental agitation." Krsna satisfied the girl in this way with 
sweet words. Leaving her there, He proceeded down the street of the 
marketplace, where the citizens were prepared to receive Him with 
various kinds of presentations, especially betel nuts, flowers and 



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41 



sandalwood pulp. 

The mercantile men in the market worshiped Krsna and Balarama with 
great respect. When Krsna was passing through the street, all the women 
in the surrounding houses came to see Him, and some of the younger 
ones almost fainted, being captivated by His beauty. Their hair and tight 
clothing loosened, and they forgot where they were standing. 
Krsna next inquired from the citizens as to the location of the place of 
sacrifice. Karhsa had arranged for the sacrifice called Dhanur-yajna, and 
to designate this particular sacrifice he had placed a big bow near the 
sacrificial altar. The bow was very big and wonderful and resembled a 
rainbow in the sky. Within the sacrificial arena, this bow was protected 
by many constables and watchmen engaged by King Karhsa. As Krsna 
and Balarama approached the bow, They were warned not to go nearer, 
but Krsna ignored this warning. He forcibly went up and immediately 
took the big bow in His left hand. After stringing the bow in the 
presence of the crowd, He drew it and broke it at the middle into two 
parts, exactly as an elephant breaks sugarcane in the field. Everyone 
present appreciated Krsna's power. The sound of the bow cracking filled 
both sky and land and was heard by Karhsa. When Karhsa heard what 
had happened, he began to fear for his life. The caretakers of the bow, 
who were standing by watching, became very angry, and with their 
respective weapons in hand they rushed towards Krsna, shouting, 
"Arrest Him! Arrest Him! Kill Him! Kill Him!" Krsna and Balarama 
were surrounded. When They understood the sinister motives of the 
guards, They became angry, and taking up the two pieces of the broken 
bow, They began to beat off all of Karhsa's caretakers. While this turmoil 
was going on, Karhsa sent a small group of troops to assist the caretakers, 
but Krsna and Balarama fought with them also and killed them. 
After this, Krsna did not proceed further into the sacrificial arena but 
went out the gate and proceeded towards Their resting camp. Along the 
way, He visited various places in Mathura City with great delight. 
Seeing the activities and wonderful prowess of Krsna, all the citizens of 
Mathura began to consider the two brothers to be demigods who had 
come down to Mathura, and they all looked upon Them with great 
astonishment. The two brothers strolled carefree in the street, not 
caring for the law and order of Karhsa. 



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42 



As sunset approached, Krsna, Balarama and Their cowherd boyfriends 
went to the outskirts of the city, where all their carts were assembled. 
Thus Krsna and Balarama gave some preliminary hints of Their arrival 
to Karhsa, and he could understand what severe type of danger was 
awaiting him the next day in the sacrificial arena. 

When Krsna and Balarama were going from Vrndavana to Mathura, the 
inhabitants of Vrndavana had imagined the great fortune of the citizens 
of Mathura in being able to see the wonderful beauty of Krsna, who is 
worshiped by His pure devotees as well as the goddess of fortune. The 
fantasies of the residents of Vrndavana were actually realized, for the 
citizens of Mathura became fully satisfied by seeing Krsna. 
When Krsna returned to His camp, He was taken care of by servants 
who washed His lotus feet, gave Him a nice seat and offered Him milk 
and palatable dishes. After taking supper and thinking of the next day's 
program, He very peacefully took rest. Thus He passed the night there. 
On the other side, when Karhsa came to understand about the breaking 
of his wonderful bow and the killing of the caretakers and soldiers by 
Krsna, he could partially realize the power of the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead. He could realize that the eighth son of Devaki had appeared 
and that now his death was imminent. Thinking of his imminent death, 
he was restless the entire night. He began to have many inauspicious 
visions, and he could understand that Krsna and Balarama, who had 
approached the precincts of the city, were his messengers of death. 
Karhsa saw various kinds of inauspicious signs while both awake and 
dreaming. When he looked in the mirror he could not see his head, 
although the head was actually present. He could see the luminaries in 
the sky in double, although there was only one set factually. He began to 
see holes in his shadow, and he could hear a high buzzing sound within 
his ears. All the trees before him appeared to be made of gold, and he 
could not see his own footprints in dust or muddy clay. In dreams he saw 
various kinds of ghosts being carried in a carriage drawn by donkeys. He 
also dreamed that someone gave him poison and he was drinking it. He 
dreamed also that he was going naked with a garland of flowers and was 
smearing oil all over his body. Thus, as Karhsa saw various signs of death 
while both awake and sleeping, he could understand that death was 
certain, and thus in great anxiety he could not rest that night. Just after 



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43 



the night expired, he busily arranged for the wrestling match. 
The wrestling arena was nicely cleansed and decorated with flags, 
festoons and flowers, and the match was announced by the beating of 
kettledrums. The platform appeared very beautiful due to streamers and 
flags. Different types of galleries were arranged for respectable 
persons — kings, brahmanas and ksatriyas. The various kings had 
reserved thrones, and others had arranged seats also. Kamsa finally 
arrived, accompanied by various ministers and secretaries, and he sat on 
the raised platform especially meant for him. Unfortunately, although 
he was sitting in the center of all his governing executive heads, his 
heart was palpitating in fear of death. Cruel death evidently does not 
care even for a person as powerful as Kamsa. When death comes, it does 
not care for anyone's exalted position. 

When everything was complete, the wrestlers who were to exhibit their 
skills before the assembly walked into the arena. They were decorated 
with nice ornaments and dress. Some of the famous wrestlers were 
Canura, Mustika, Sala, Kuta and Tosala. Being enlivened by the musical 
concert, they passed through with great alacrity. All the respectable 
cowherd men who came from Vrndavana, headed by Nanda, were also 
welcomed by Kamsa. After presenting Kamsa with the milk products 
they had brought with them, the cowherd men also took their respective 
seats by the side of the King, on a platform especially meant for them. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-second Chapter of 
Krsna, "The Breaking of the Bow in the Sacrificial Arena." 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



44 



CHAPTER FORTY-THREE 
The Killing of the Elephant Kuvalayapida 

After taking Their baths and finishing all other morning duties, Krsna 
and Balarama could hear the beating of the kettledrums in the wrestling 
camp. They immediately prepared Themselves to proceed to the spot to 
see the fun. When Krsna and Balarama reached the gate of the wrestling 
camp, They saw a big elephant of the name Kuvalayapida being tended 
by a caretaker riding on its head. The caretaker was deliberately 
blocking Their entrance by keeping the elephant in front of the 
gateway. Krsna could understand the purpose of the caretaker, and He 
prepared Himself by tightening His clothes before combating the 
elephant. He addressed the caretaker in a very grave voice, as 
resounding as a cloud: "You miscreant caretaker, give way and let Me 
pass through the gate. If you block My way, I shall send you and your 
elephant to the house of death personified." 

The caretaker, being thus insulted by Krsna, became very angry, and in 
order to challenge Krsna, as was previously planned, he provoked the 
elephant to attack. The elephant then moved before Krsna like 
inevitable death. It rushed towards Him and tried to catch Him with its 
trunk, but Krsna very dexterously moved behind the elephant. Being 
able to see only to the end of its trunk, the elephant could not see Krsna 
hiding behind its legs, but it tried to capture Him with its trunk. Krsna 
again very quickly escaped capture, and He again ran behind the 
elephant and caught its tail. Holding the elephant by its tail, Krsna 
began to pull it, and with very great strength He dragged it for at least 
twenty-five yards, just as Garuda drags an insignificant snake. Krsna 
pulled the elephant from this side to that, from right to left, just as He 
used to pull a calf by its tail in His childhood. After this, Krsna went in 
front of the elephant and gave it a strong slap. He then slipped away 
from the elephant's view and ran to its back. Then, falling down on the 
ground, Krsna placed Himself in front of the elephant's two legs and 
caused it to trip and fall. Krsna immediately got up, but the elephant, 
thinking that He was still lying down, tried to push an ivory tusk 
through the body of Krsna by forcibly stabbing it into the ground. 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



45 



Although the elephant was harassed and angry, the caretaker riding on 
its head tried to provoke it further. The elephant then rushed madly 
towards Krsna. As soon as it came within reach, Krsna caught hold of 
the trunk and pulled the elephant down. When the elephant and 
caretaker fell, Krsna jumped up on the elephant, broke off one of its 
tusks, and with it killed the elephant and the caretaker also. After 
killing the elephant, Krsna took the ivory tusk on His shoulder. 
Decorated with drops of perspiration and sprinkled with the blood of the 
elephant, He looked very beautiful, and thus He proceeded towards the 
wrestling arena. Lord Balarama took the other tusk of the elephant on 
His shoulder. Accompanied by Their cowherd boyfriends, They entered 
the arena. 

When Krsna entered the wrestling arena with Balarama and Their 
friends, He appeared differently to different people according to their 
different relationships (rasas) with Him. Krsna is the reservoir of all 
pleasure and all kinds of rasas, both favorable and unfavorable. He 
appeared to the wrestlers exactly like a thunderbolt. To the people in 
general He appeared as the most beautiful personality. To the females 
He appeared to be the most attractive male, Cupid personified, and thus 
increased their lust. The cowherd men who were present there looked 
upon Krsna as their own kinsman, coming from the same village of 
Vrndavana. The impious ksatriya kings who were present saw Him as the 
strongest ruler and their chastiser. To the parents of Krsna, Nanda and 
Yasoda, He appeared to be the most loving child. To Kamsa, the king of 
the Bhoja dynasty, He appeared to be death personified. To the 
unintelligent, He appeared to be an incapable personality. To the yogis 
present, He appeared to be the Supersoul. To the members of the Vrsni 
dynasty He appeared to be the most celebrated descendant. Thus 
appreciated differently by different kinds of men present, Krsna entered 
the wrestling arena with Balarama and His cowherd boyfriends. Having 
heard that Krsna had already killed the elephant Kuvalayapida, Kamsa 
knew beyond doubt that Krsna was formidable. He thus became very 
much afraid of Him. Krsna and Balarama had long arms. They were 
beautifully dressed, and They were attractive to all the people assembled 
there. They were dressed as if They were going to act on a dramatic 
stage, and They drew the attention of all people. 



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46 



The citizens of Mathura City who saw Krsna, the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead, became very much pleased and began to look on His face 
with insatiable glances, as if they were drinking the nectar of heaven. 
Seeing Krsna gave them so much pleasure that it appeared as if they 
were not only drinking the nectar of seeing His face but were also 
smelling the aroma and licking up the taste of His body and were 
embracing Him and Balarama with their arms. They began to talk 
among themselves about the two transcendental brothers. For a long 
time they had heard of the beauty and activities of Krsna and Balarama, 
but now they were personally seeing Them face to face. They thought 
that Krsna and Balarama were two plenary incarnations of the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, Narayana, who had appeared in Vrndavana. 
The citizens of Mathura began to recite Krsna's pastimes — His birth as 
the son of Vasudeva, His being taken into the care of Nanda Maharaja 
and his wife in Gokula, and all those events leading to His coming to 
Mathura to favor them. They spoke of the killing of the demon Putana, 
as well as the killing of Trnavarta, who came as a whirlwind. They also 
recalled the deliverance of the twin brothers from within the yamala- 
arjuna trees. The citizens of Mathura spoke among themselves: 
"Sankhacuda, Kesi, Dhenukasura and many other demons were killed by 
Krsna and Balarama in Vrndavana. Krsna also saved all the cowherd 
men of Vrndavana from a devastating fire. He chastised the Kaliya 
snake in the water of the Yamuna, and He curbed the false pride of the 
heavenly King Indra. Krsna held up the great Govardhana Hill in one 
hand for seven continuous days and saved all the people of Gokula from 
incessant rain, hurricane and hailstorm." They also began to remember 
other enlivening activities: "The damsels of Vrndavana were so pleased 
by seeing Krsna's beauty and participating in His activities that they 
forgot the troubles of material existence. By seeing Krsna and thinking 
of Him, they forgot all sorts of fatigue." The Mathura citizens discussed 
the dynasty of Yadu, saying that because of Krsna's appearance in this 
dynasty the Yadus would remain the most celebrated family in the whole 
universe. The citizens of Mathura then began to talk about Balarama. 
They spoke of his very beautiful lotus-petal eyes, and they remarked of 
Him, "This boy has killed the Pralamba demon and many others also." 
While they were thus talking about the activities of Krsna and 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



47 



Balarama, they heard the vibrations of different bands announcing the 
wrestling match. 

The famous wrestler Canura then began to talk with Krsna and 
Balarama. "My dear Krsna and Balarama," he said, "we have heard about 
Your past activities. You are great heroes, and therefore the King has 
called You. We have heard that Your arms are very strong. The King 
and all the people present here desire to see a display of Your wrestling 
abilities. A citizen should be obedient and please the mind of the ruling 
king; acting in that way, the citizen attains all kinds of good fortune. 
One who does not care to act obediently is made unhappy because of the 
king's anger. You are cowherd boys, and we have heard that while 
tending Your cows in the forest, You enjoy wrestling with each other. 
We wish, therefore, for You to join with us in wrestling so that all the 
people present here, along with the King, will be pleased." 
Krsna immediately understood the purpose of Canura's statements, and 
He prepared to wrestle with him. But according to the time and 
circumstances, He spoke as follows: "You are the subject of the King of 
the Bhojas, and you live in the jungle. We are also indirectly his 
subjects, and We try to please him as far as possible. This offer of 
wrestling is a great favor of his, but the fact is that We are simply boys. 
We sometimes play in the forest of Vrndavana with Our friends who are 
Our own age. We think that to combat persons of equal age and strength 
is good for Us, but to fight great wrestlers like you would not be good for 
the audience. It would contradict their religious principles." Krsna thus 
indicated that the celebrated, strong wrestlers should not challenge 
Krsna and Balarama to fight. 

In reply to this, Canura said, "My dear Krsna, we can understand very 
well that You are neither a child nor a young man. You are 
transcendental to everyone, as is Your big brother, Balarama. You have 
already killed the elephant Kuvalayapida, who was capable of fighting 
thousands of other elephants. You have killed him in a wonderful way. 
Because of Your strength, it behooves You to compete with the strongest 
wrestlers amongst us. I therefore wish to wrestle with You, and Your 
elder brother, Balarama, will wrestle with Mustika." 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-third Chapter of Krsna, 

Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. aq 



"The Killing of the Elephant Kuvalayapida." 

CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR 
The Killing of Kamsa 

After Kamsa's wrestlers expressed their determination, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, the killer of Madhu, confronted Canura, and 
Lord Balarama, the son of Rohini, confronted Mustika. Krsna and 
Canura and then Balarama and Mustika locked themselves hand to 
hand, leg to leg, and each began to press against the other with a view to 
come out victorious. They joined palm to palm, calf to calf, head to head, 
chest to chest and began to strike each other. The fighting increased as 
they pushed each other from one place to another. One captured the 
other and threw him down on the ground, and another rushed from the 
back to the front of another and tried to overcome him with a hold. The 
fighting increased step by step. There was picking up, dragging and 
pushing, and then the legs and hands were locked together. All the arts 
of wrestling were perfectly exhibited by the parties, as each tried his best 
to defeat his opponent. 

But the audience in the wrestling arena was not very much satisfied 
because the combatants did not appear to be equally matched. They 
considered Krsna and Balarama to be mere boys before Canura and 
Mustika, who were the strongest wrestlers, as solid as stone. Being 
compassionate and favoring Krsna and Balarama, the many ladies in the 
audience began to talk as follows: "Dear friends, there is injustice here." 
Another said, "Even in front of the King this wrestling is going on 
between incompatible sides." The ladies had lost their sense of 
enjoyment. They could not encourage the fighting between the strong 
and the weak. "Mustika and Canura are just like thunderbolts, as strong 
as great mountains, and Krsna and Balarama are two delicate boys of 
very tender age. The principle of justice has already left this assembly. 
Persons who are aware of the civilized principles of justice will not 
remain to watch this unfair match. Those taking part in this wrestling 
match are not very much enlightened; therefore whether they speak or 



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49 



remain silent, they are being subjected to the reactions of sinful 
activities." "But my dear friends," another lady in the assembly spoke 
out, "just look at the face of Krsna. There are drops of perspiration on 
His face from chasing His enemy, and His face appears like the lotus 
flower with drops of water." Another lady said, "Don't you see how the 
face of Lord Balarama has turned especially beautiful? There is a reddish 
hue on His white face because He is engaged in a strong wrestling match 
with Mustika." 

Another lady in the assembly addressed her friend, "Dear friend, just 
imagine how fortunate is the land of Vrndavana, where the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead Himself is present, always decorated with flower 
garlands and engaged in tending cows along with His brother, Lord 
Balarama. He is always accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends, and He 
plays His transcendental flute. The residents of Vrndavana are fortunate 
to be able to constantly see the lotus feet of Krsna and Balarama, which 
are worshiped by great demigods like Lord Siva and by the goddess of 
fortune. We cannot estimate how many pious activities were executed 
by the damsels of Vrajabhumi so that they were able to enjoy the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead by looking upon the unparalleled 
beauty of His transcendental body. The beauty of the Lord is beyond 
compare. No one is higher than or equal to Him in beauty of complexion 
or bodily luster. Krsna and Balarama are the reservoir of all kinds of 
opulence — namely wealth, strength, beauty, fame, knowledge and 
renunciation. The gopls are so fortunate that they can see and think of 
Krsna twenty-four hours a day, beginning from their milking the cows or 
husking the paddy or churning the butter in the morning. While 
engaged in cleaning their houses and washing their floors, they are 
always absorbed in thought of Krsna." 

The gopls give a perfect example of how one can execute Krsna 
consciousness even if he is in different types of material engagement. By 
constantly being absorbed in the thought of Krsna, one cannot be 
affected by the contamination of material activities. The gopls, 
therefore, are perfectly in trance, samddhi, the highest perfectional stage 
of mystic power. In the Bhagavad-gltd, it is confirmed that one who is 
constantly thinking of Krsna is a first-class yogi among all kinds of yogis. 
"My dear friends," one lady told another, "we must accept the activities 



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50 



of the gopls to be the highest form of piety; otherwise, how could they 
have achieved the opportunity of seeing Krsna both morning and 
evening — in the morning when He goes to the pasturing ground with 
His cows and cowherd boyfriends, and in the evening when He returns 
with them, playing on His flute and smiling very brilliantly?" 
When Lord Krsna, the Supersoul of every living being, understood that 
the ladies in the assembly were anxious for Him, He decided not to 
continue wrestling but to kill the wrestlers immediately. The parents of 
Krsna and Balarama, namely Nanda Maharaja, Yasoda, Vasudeva and 
Devaki, were also very anxious because they did not know the unlimited 
strength of their children. Lord Balarama was fighting with the wrestler 
Mustika in the same way that Krsna, the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, was fighting and wrestling with Canura. Lord Krsna appeared 
to be cruel to Canura, and He immediately struck him thrice with His 
fist. The great wrestler was jolted, to the astonishment of the audience. 
Canura then took his last chance and attacked Krsna, just as one hawk 
swoops upon another. Folding his two hands, he began to strike the 
chest of Krsna, but Lord Krsna was not even slightly disturbed, no more 
than an elephant that is hit by a flower garland. Krsna quickly caught 
the two hands of Canura and began to wheel him around, and simply by 
this centrifugal action, Canura lost his life. Krsna then threw him to the 
ground. Canura fell just like the flag of Indra, and all his nicely 
decorated ornaments were scattered hither and thither. 
Mustika also struck Balarama, and Balarama returned the stroke with 
great force. Mustika began to tremble and vomit blood. Distressed, he 
gave up his vital force and fell down just as a tree falls down in a 
hurricane. After the two wrestlers were killed, a wrestler named Kuta 
came forward. Lord Balarama immediately caught him in His left hand 
and killed him nonchalantly. A wrestler of the name Sala came forward, 
and Krsna immediately cracked his head with a kick. A wrestler named 
Tosala came forward and was killed in the same way. Thus all the great 
wrestlers were killed by Krsna and Balarama, and the remaining 
wrestlers fled from the assembly out of fear for their lives. All the 
cowherd boyfriends of Krsna and Balarama approached Them and 
congratulated Them with great pleasure. While trumpets resounded and 
drums were beaten, the leg bells on the feet of Krsna and Balarama 



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51 



tinkled. 

All the people gathered there began to clap in great ecstasy, and no one 
could estimate the bounds of their pleasure. The brdhmanas present 
began to praise Krsna and Balarama ecstatically. Only Karhsa was 
morose; he neither clapped nor offered benediction to Krsna. Karhsa 
resented that the trumpets and drums should be played for Krsna's 
victory, and he was very sorry that the wrestlers had been killed and had 
fled the assembly. He therefore immediately ordered the band to stop 
playing and addressed his men as follows: "I order that these two sons of 
Vasudeva be immediately driven out of Mathura. The cowherd boys who 
have come with Them should be plundered and all their riches taken 
away. Nanda Maharaja should immediately be arrested and killed for his 
cunning behavior, and that rascal Vasudeva should also be killed 
without delay. Also my father, Ugrasena, who has always supported my 
enemies against my will, should be killed." 

When Karhsa spoke in this way, Lord Krsna became very angry with 
him, and within a second He jumped onto the high dais of King Karhsa. 
Karhsa was prepared for Krsna's attack, for he knew from the beginning 
that He was to be the supreme cause of his death. He immediately 
unsheathed his sword and prepared to answer the challenge of Krsna 
with sword and shield. As Karhsa wielded his sword up and down, hither 
and thither, Lord Krsna, the supreme powerful Lord, caught hold of him 
with great force. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the 
shelter of the complete creation and from whose lotus navel the whole 
creation is manifested, immediately knocked the crown from the head of 
Karhsa and grabbed his long hair in His hand. He then dragged Karhsa 
from his seat to the wrestling dais and threw him down. Then Krsna at 
once straddled his chest and began to strike him over and over again. 
Simply from the strokes of His fist, Karhsa lost his vital force. 
To assure His parents that Karhsa was dead, Lord Krsna dragged him just 
as a lion drags an elephant after killing it. When people saw this, there 
was a great roaring sound from all sides as some spectators expressed 
their jubilation and others cried in lamentation. From the day Karhsa 
heard he would be killed by the eighth son of Devaki, he was always 
thinking of Krsna with His wheel in hand, and because he was very 
much afraid of his death, he was thinking of Krsna in that form twenty- 



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52 



four hours a day, without stopping — even while eating, while walking 
and while breathing — and naturally he got the blessing of liberation. In 
the Bhagavad-gltd it is stated, sadd tad-bhdva-bhdvitah: [Bg. 8.6] a person 
gets his next life according to the thoughts in which he is always 
absorbed. Kamsa was thinking of Krsna with His wheel, which means 
Narayana, who holds a wheel, conchshell, lotus flower and club. 
According to the opinion of authorities, Kamsa attained sdrupya-mukti 
after death; that is to say, he attained the same form as Narayana 
(Visnu). On the Vaikuntha planets all the inhabitants have the same 
bodily features as Narayana. After his death, Kamsa attained liberation 
and was promoted to Vaikunthaloka. From this instance we can 
understand that even a person who thinks of the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead as an enemy gets liberation or a place in a Vaikuntha planet, so 
what to speak of the pure devotees, who are always absorbed in favorable 
thoughts of Krsna? Even an enemy killed by Krsna gets liberation and is 
placed in the impersonal brahmajyoti. Since the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead is all-good, anyone thinking of Him, either as enemy or as 
friend, gets liberation. But the liberation of the devotee and the 
liberation of the enemy are not the same. The enemy generally gets the 
liberation of sdyujya, and sometimes he gets sdrupya liberation. 
Kamsa had eight brothers, headed by Kahka, all of them younger than 
he, and when they learned that their elder brother had been killed, they 
combined together and rushed towards Krsna in great anger to kill Him. 
Kamsa and his brothers were all Krsna's maternal uncles, brothers of 
Krsna's mother, Devaki. When Krsna killed Kamsa He killed His 
maternal uncle, which is against the regulations of Vedic injunctions. 
Although Krsna is independent of all Vedic injunctions, He violates the 
Vedic injunctions only in inevitable cases. Kamsa could not be killed by 
anyone but Krsna; therefore Krsna was obliged to kill him. But as far as 
Karhsa's eight brothers were concerned, Balarama took charge of killing 
them. Balarama's mother, Rohini, although the wife of Vasudeva, was 
not the sister of Kamsa; therefore Balarama took charge of killing all of 
Karhsa's eight brothers. He immediately took up an available weapon 
(most probably the elephant's tusk which He carried) and killed the 
eight brothers one after another, just as a lion kills a flock of deer. Krsna 
and Balarama thus verified the statement that the Supreme Personality 



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53 



of Godhead appears in order to give protection to the pious and to kill 
the impious demons, who are always enemies of the demigods. 
The demigods from the higher planetary systems showered flowers, 
congratulating Krsna and Balarama. Among the demigods were powerful 
personalities like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, and all joined together in 
showing their jubilation over Karhsa's death. There were beating of 
drums and showering of flowers from the heavenly planets, and the 
wives of the demigods danced in ecstasy. 

The wives of Kamsa and his eight brothers were aggrieved at the sudden 
death of their husbands, and all of them struck their foreheads and shed 
torrents of tears. Crying loudly and embracing the bodies of their 
husbands, which lay on the wrestling dais, the wives of Kamsa and his 
brothers lamented, addressing the dead bodies: "Our dear husbands, you 
are so kind and are the protectors of your dependents. Now, after your 
death, we are also dead, along with your homes and children. We no 
longer look auspicious. On account of your death, the auspicious 
functions to take place, such as the sacrifice of the bow, have all been 
spoiled. Our dear husbands, you treated persons ill who were faultless, 
and as a result you have been killed. This is inevitable because a person 
who torments an innocent person must be punished by the laws of 
nature. We know that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead. He is the supreme master and supreme enjoyer of everything; 
therefore, one who neglects His authority can never be happy, and 
ultimately, as you have, he meets death." 

Since Krsna was kind and affectionate to His aunts, He solaced them as 
far as possible. The ritualistic ceremonies performed after death were 
then conducted under the personal supervision of Krsna because He 
happened to be the nephew of all the dead princes. After finishing this 
business, Krsna and Balarama immediately released Their father and 
mother, Vasudeva and Devaki, who had been imprisoned by Kamsa. 
Krsna and Balarama fell at Their parents' feet and offered them prayers. 
Vasudeva and Devaki had suffered so much trouble from Kamsa because 
Krsna was their son. Devaki and Vasudeva were fully conscious of 
Krsna's exalted position as the Supreme Personality of Godhead; 
therefore, although Krsna touched their feet and offered them 
obeisances and prayers, they did not embrace Him but simply stood up to 



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54 



hear the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although Krsna was born as 
their son, Vasudeva and Devakl were always conscious of His position. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-fourth Chapter of Krsna, 
"The Killing of Karhsa." 



Copyright © 1998 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Int'l. All Rights Reserved. 



55 



CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE 
Krsna Recovers the Son of His Teacher 

When Lord Krsna saw Vasudeva and Devaki standing in a reverential 
attitude, He immediately expanded His influence of yogamdyd so that 
they could treat Him and Balarama as children. As in the material world 
the relationship existing between father and mother and children can be 
established amongst different living entities by the influence of the 
illusory energy, so, by the influence of yogamdyd, the devotee can 
establish a relationship in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is 
his child. After creating this situation by His yogamdyd, Krsna, 
appearing with His elder brother, Balarama, as the most illustrious son in 
the dynasty of the Satvatas, very submissively and respectfully addressed 
Vasudeva and Devaki: "My dear father and mother, although you have 
always been anxious for the protection of Our lives, you could not enjoy 
the pleasure of having Us as your babies, as your growing boys and as 
your adolescent youths." Krsna indirectly praised the fatherhood of 
Nanda Maharaja and motherhood of Yasoda as most glorious because 
although He and Balarama were not their born sons, Nanda and Yasoda 
actually enjoyed Their childhood pastimes. By nature's own 
arrangement, the childhood of the embodied living being is enjoyed by 
his parents. Even in the animal kingdom, parents are found to be 
affectionate to their cubs. Being captivated by the activities of their 
children, they take much care for their well-being. As for Vasudeva and 
Devaki, they were always anxious for the protection of their sons, Krsna 
and Balarama. That is why Krsna, after His appearance, was immediately 
transferred to another's house. Balarama was also transferred, from 
Devaki's womb to Rohini's womb. 

Vasudeva and Devaki were full of anxieties for Krsna's and Balarama's 
protection, but they could not enjoy Their childhood pastimes. Krsna 
said, "Unfortunately, being ordered by Our fate, We could not be raised 
by Our own parents to enjoy childhood pleasures at home. My dear 
father and mother, a man cannot repay his debt to his parents, from 
whom he gets this body, which can bestow upon him all the benefits of 
material existence. According to the Vedic injunctions, this human 



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56 



form of life enables one to perform all kinds of religious activities, fulfill 
all kinds of desires and acquire all kinds of wealth. And only in this 
human form is there every possibility that one can get liberation from 
material existence. This body is produced by the combined efforts of the 
father and mother. Every human being should be obliged to his parents 
and understand that he cannot repay his debt to them. If, after growing 
up, a son does not try to satisfy his parents by his actions or by an 
endowment of riches, he is surely punished after death by the 
superintendent of death and made to eat his own flesh. If a person is 
able to care for or give protection to old parents, a chaste wife, children, 
the spiritual master, brdhmanas and other dependents but does not do 
so, he is considered already dead, although he is supposedly breathing. 
My dear father and mother, you have always been anxious for Our 
protection, but unfortunately We could not render any service to you. 
Until now We have simply wasted Our time; We could not serve you for 
reasons beyond Our control. Mother and father, please excuse Us for 
Our sinfulness." 

When the Supreme Personality of Godhead was speaking as an innocent 
boy in very sweet words, Vasudeva and Devaki became captivated by 
parental affection and embraced Him with great pleasure. They were 
amazed and could not speak or answer the words of Krsna but simply 
embraced Him and Balarama in great affection and remained silent, 
shedding incessant tears. 

Thus having consoled His father and mother, the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead, appearing as the beloved son of Devaki, approached His 
grandfather Ugrasena and announced that Ugrasena would now be the 
King of the Yadu kingdom. Kamsa had been forcibly ruling the kingdom 
of Yadu, in spite of the presence of his father, whom he had arrested. 
But after the death of Kamsa, Kamsa's father was released and 
announced to be the monarch of the Yadu kingdom. It appears that in 
those days in the western part of India there were many small kingdoms, 
ruled by the Yadu dynasty, Andhaka dynasty, Vrsni dynasty and Bhoja 
dynasty. Maharaja Ugrasena belonged to the Bhoja dynasty; therefore 
Krsna indirectly declared that the King of the Bhoja dynasty would be 
the emperor of the other small kingdoms. Krsna willingly asked 
Maharaja Ugrasena to rule over Himself and Balarama because They 



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57 



were his subjects. The word prajd is used both for progeny and for 
citizens, so Krsna belonged to the prajd, both as a grandson of Maharaja 
Ugrasena's and as a member of the Yadu dynasty. Thus He voluntarily 
accepted the rule of Maharaja Ugrasena. He informed Ugrasena, "Being 
cursed by Yayati, the kings of the Yadu dynasty will not occupy the 
throne. It will be Our pleasure to act as your servants. My full 
cooperation with you will make your position more exalted and secure so 
that the kings of other dynasties will not hesitate to pay their respective 
revenues. Protected by Me, you will be honored even by the demigods 
from the heavenly planets. My dear grandfather, out of fear of My late 
uncle Kamsa, all the kings belonging to the Yadu, Vrsni, Andhaka, 
Madhu, Dasarha and Kukura dynasties were very anxious and disturbed. 
Now you can pacify them all and give them assurance of security. The 
whole kingdom will be peaceful." 

All the kings in the neighboring area had left their homes in fear of 
Kamsa and were living in distant parts of the country. Now, after the 
death of Kamsa and the reinstallment of Ugrasena as king, the 
neighboring kings were given all kinds of presentations and comforts. 
Then they returned to their respective homes. After this nice political 
arrangement, the citizens of Mathura were pleased to live in Mathura, 
being protected by the strong arms of Krsna and Balarama. On account 
of good government in the presence of Krsna and Balarama, the 
inhabitants of Mathura felt complete satisfaction in the fulfillment of all 
their material desires and necessities, and because they saw Krsna and 
Balarama daily, face to face, they soon forgot all material miseries 
completely. As soon as they saw Krsna and Balarama coming out on the 
street, very nicely dressed and smiling and looking at the citizens with 
grace, the citizens were immediately filled with loving ecstasies simply by 
seeing the personal presence of Mukunda. The name Mukunda refers to 
one who can award liberation and transcendental bliss. Krsna's presence 
acted as such a vitalizing tonic that not only the younger generation but 
even the old men of Mathura became fully invigorated with youthful 
energy and strength by regularly seeing Him. 

Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda were also living in Mathura because Krsna 
and Balarama were there, but after some time they wanted to go back to 
Vrndavana. Krsna and Balarama went before Nanda and Yasoda and 



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very affectionately embraced them, and then the two Lords spoke as 
follows: "Dear father and mother, although We were born of Vasudeva 
and Devakl, you have been Our real father and mother, because from 
Our very birth and childhood you raised Us with great affection and 
love. Your affectionate love for Us was more than anyone can offer 
one's own children. You are actually Our father and mother, because 
you raised Us as your own children when We were just like orphans. For 
certain reasons We were rejected by Our father and mother, and you 
protected Us. Dear father and mother, We know that you will feel 
separation upon returning to Vrndavana and leaving Us here, but please 
rest assured that We shall come back to Vrndavana just after giving 
some satisfaction to Our real father and mother, Vasudeva and Devakl, 
and Our grandfather and other family members." Krsna and Balarama 
thus satisfied Nanda and Yasoda by sweet words and by presentations of 
various kinds of clothing, ornaments and copper utensils. They satisfied 
them, along with their friends and neighbors who had come with them 
from Vrndavana to Mathura, as fully as possible. On account of 
excessive parental affection for Balarama and Krsna, Nanda Maharaja 
felt tears in his eyes, and he embraced Them and started with the 
cowherd men for Vrndavana. 

After this, Vasudeva had his sons initiated by sacred thread as the token 
of second birth, which is essential for the higher castes of human society. 
Vasudeva called for his family priest and learned brdhmanas, and the 
sacred thread ceremony of Krsna and Balarama was duly performed. 
During this ceremony, Vasudeva gave various ornaments in charity to 
the brdhmanas and endowed them with cows decorated with silken 
cloths and golden ornaments. Then Vasudeva remembered the cows he 
had wanted to give in charity to the brdhmanas after the birth of Krsna 
and Balarama. But being imprisoned by Karhsa at that time, Vasudeva 
had been able to do so only within his mind, for Karhsa had stolen all his 
cows. With the death of Karhsa his cows were released, and now 
Vasudeva gave the actual cows to the brdhmanas. Then Balarama and 
Krsna were duly initiated with the sacred thread ceremony, and They 
repeated the chanting of the Gayatri mantra. The Gayatri mantra is 
offered to disciples after the sacred thread ceremony, and Balarama and 
Krsna properly discharged the duties of chanting this mantra. Anyone 



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who executes the chanting of this mantra has to abide by certain 
principles and vows. Although Balarama and Krsna are transcendental 
personalities, They strictly followed the regulative principles. They were 
initiated by Their family priest, Gargacarya, usually known as Garga 
Muni, the acarya of the Yadu dynasty. According to Vedic culture, every 
respectable family has an acarya, or spiritual master. One is not 
considered a perfectly cultured man without being initiated and trained 
by an acarya. It is said, therefore, that one who has approached an 
acarya is actually in perfect knowledge. Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama 
are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all education and 
knowledge. There was no need for Them to accept a spiritual master or 
acarya, yet for the instruction of ordinary men They also accepted a 
spiritual master for advancement in spiritual knowledge. 
It is customary, after being initiated in the Gayatri mantra, for one to 
live away from home for some time under the care of the acarya, to be 
trained in spiritual life. During this period, one has to work under the 
spiritual master as an ordinary menial servant. There are many rules and 
regulations for a brahmacarl living under the care of an acarya, and 
Krsna and Balarama strictly followed those regulative principles while 
living under the instruction of their spiritual master, Sandipani Muni, 
who was a resident of Avantipura, in the northern Indian district of 
Ujjain. According to scriptural injunctions, a spiritual master should be 
respected and regarded on an equal level with the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead. Krsna and Balarama exactly followed those principles with 
great devotion and underwent the regulations of brahmacarya. Thus 
They satisfied Their spiritual master, who instructed Them in Vedic 
knowledge. Being very satisfied, Sandipani Muni instructed Them in all 
the intricacies of Vedic wisdom and in supplementary literature such as 
the Upanisads. Because Krsna and Balarama happened to be ksatriyas, 
They were specifically trained in military science, politics and ethics. 
Politics includes such departments of knowledge as how to make peace, 
how to fight, how to pacify, how to divide and rule and how to give 
shelter. All these items were fully explained and instructed to Krsna and 
Balarama. 

The ocean is the source of water in a river. The cloud is created by the 
evaporation of ocean water, and the same water is distributed as rain all 



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60 



over the surface of the earth and then returns to the ocean in rivers. So 
Krsna and Balarama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, are the 
source of all knowledge, but because They were playing like ordinary 
human boys, They set the example so that everyone would receive 
knowledge from the right source. Thus They agreed to take knowledge 
from a spiritual master. 

After hearing only once from Their teacher, Krsna and Balarama 
learned all the arts and sciences. In sixty-four days and sixty-four nights, 
They learned all the necessary arts and sciences required in human 
society. During daytime They took lessons on a subject from the teacher, 
and by nightfall They were expert in that department of knowledge. 
First of all They learned how to sing, how to compose songs and how to 
recognize the different tunes; They learned the favorable and 
unfavorable accents and meters, how to sing different kinds of rhythms 
and melodies, and how to follow them by beating different kinds of 
drums. They learned how to dance to the rhythm of melody and 
different songs. They learned how to write dramas, and They learned 
the various types of paintings, beginning from simple village arts up to 
the highest perfectional stage. They also learned how to paint tilaka on 
the face by making different kinds of dots on the forehead and cheeks. 
Then They learned the art of making paintings on the floor with liquid 
paste of rice and flour; such paintings are very popular at auspicious 
ceremonies performed at household affairs or in the temple. They 
learned how to make a resting place with flowers and how to decorate 
clothing and limbs with colorful paintings. They also learned how to set 
valuable jewels in ornaments. They learned the art of ringing waterpots. 
Waterpots are filled with water to a certain measurement so that as one 
beats on the pots, different tones are produced, and when the pots are 
beaten together they produce a melodious sound. They also learned how 
to splash water in the rivers or lakes while taking a bath among friends. 
They learned how to decorate with flowers. This art of decorating can 
still be seen in various temples of Vrndavana during the summer season. 
It is called phulla-bddi. The dais, the throne, the walls and the ceiling are 
all fully decorated, and a small, aromatic fountain of flowers is fixed in 
the center. Because of these floral decorations, the people, fatigued from 
the heat of the summer, become refreshed. 



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Krsna and Balarama learned the art of dressing hair in various styles and 
fixing a helmet in different positions on the head. They also learned 
how to set up a theatrical stage, how to decorate dramatic actors with 
clothes and with flower ornaments over the ear, and how to sprinkle 
sandalwood pulp and water to produce a nice fragrance. They also 
learned the art of performing magical feats. Within the magical field 
there is an art called bahu-rupl, by which a person dresses himself in 
such a way that when he approaches a friend he cannot be recognized. 
Krsna and Balarama also learned how to make various syrups and 
beverages required at various times, having various tastes and 
intoxicating effects. They also learned different types of sewing and 
embroidery work, as well as how to manipulate thin threads for dancing 
puppets. This art includes how to string wires on musical instruments, 
such as the vlnd, sitar, esraj and tamboura, to produce melodious sounds. 
Then They learned how to make and solve riddles. They learned the art 
of how even a dull student can very quickly learn the alphabet and read 
books. Then They learned how to rehearse and act out a drama. They 
also studied the art of solving crossword puzzles, filling up the missing 
spaces and making complete words. 

They also learned how to draw and read pictographic literature. In some 
countries in the world, pictographic literature is still current. A story is 
represented by pictures; for instance, a man and house are pictured to 
represent a man going home. Krsna and Balarama also learned the art of 
architecture — how to construct residential buildings. They learned to 
recognize valuable jewels by studying their luster and colors. Then They 
learned the art of placing jewels in a gold and silver setting so that they 
look very beautiful. They also learned how to study soil to find minerals. 
This study of soil is now a greatly specialized science, but formerly it was 
common knowledge even for the ordinary man. They learned to study 
herbs and plants to discover how they would act as medicine for 
different ailments. By studying the different species of plants, They 
learned how to crossbreed plants and trees and get different types of 
fruits. They learned how to train and engage rams and cocks in fighting 
for sport. They then learned how to teach parrots to speak and answer 
the questions of human beings. 
They learned practical psychology — how to influence another's mind 



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and thus induce another to act according to one's own desire. Sometimes 
this is called hypnotism. They learned how to wash hair, dye it different 
colors and curl it in different ways. They learned the art of telling what 
is written in someone's book without actually seeing it. They learned to 
tell what is contained in another's fist. Sometimes children imitate this 
art, although not very accurately. One child keeps something within his 
fist and asks his friend, "Can you tell what is within?" and the friend 
gives some suggestion, although he actually cannot tell. But there is an 
art by which one can understand and actually tell what is held within 
the fist. 

Krsna and Balarama learned how to speak and understand the languages 
of various countries. Not only did They learn the languages of human 
beings; Krsna could also speak even with animals and birds. Evidence of 
this is found in Vaisnava literature compiled by the Gosvamls. Then 
They learned how to make carriages and airplanes from flowers. It is said 
in the Rdmdyana that after defeating Ravana, Ramacandra was carried 
from Lanka to Bharata-varsa on a plane of flowers, called a puspa-ratha. 
Krsna and Balarama then learned the art of foretelling events by seeing 
signs. In a book called Khanara-vacana, the various types of signs and 
omens are described. If when one is going out one sees someone with a 
bucket full of water, that is a very good sign. But if one sees someone 
with an empty bucket, it is not a good sign. Similarly, if one sees a cow 
being milked alongside its calf, it is a good sign. The result of 
understanding these signs is that one can foretell events, and Krsna and 
Balarama learned the science. They also learned the art of composing 
mdtrkd. A mdtrkd is like a crossword box, with three numbers in each 
row. If one adds any three from any side, it will come to nine. The 
mdtrkds are of different kinds and for different purposes. 
Krsna and Balarama learned the art of cutting valuable stones such as 
diamonds, and They also learned the art of questioning and answering 
by immediately composing poetry within the mind. They learned the 
science of the action and reaction of physical combinations and 
permutations. They learned the art of a psychiatrist, who can 
understand the psychic movements of another person. They learned 
how to satisfy one's desires. Desires are very difficult to fulfill; but if one 
desires something which is unreasonable and can never be fulfilled, the 



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63 



desire can be subdued and satisfied, and that is an art. By this art one 
can also subdue sex impulses when they are aroused, as they are even in 
brahmacdrl life. By this art one can make even an enemy his friend or 
transfer the direct action of a physical element to other things. 
Lord Krsna and Balarama, the reservoir of all knowledge, exhibited 
Their perfect understanding of all the arts and sciences mentioned 
above. Then They offered to serve Their teacher by awarding him 
anything he desired. This offering by the student to the teacher or 
spiritual master is called guru-daksind. It is essential that a student 
satisfy the teacher in return for any learning received, either material or 
spiritual. When Krsna and Balarama offered Their service in this way, 
the teacher, Sandlpani Muni, thought it wise to ask Them for something 
extraordinary, something no common student could offer. He therefore 
consulted with his wife about what to ask from Them. He and his wife 
had already seen the extraordinary potencies of Krsna and Balarama and 
could understand that the two boys were the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead. They decided to ask for the return of their son, who had 
drowned in the ocean near the shore at Prabhasa-ksetra. 
When Krsna and Balarama heard from Their teacher about the death of 
his son, They immediately started for Prabhasa-ksetra on Their chariot. 
Reaching the beach, They asked the controlling deity of the ocean to 
return the son of Their teacher. The ocean deity immediately appeared 
before the Lord and offered Him all respectful obeisances with great 
humility. 

The Lord said, "Some time back you caused the drowning of the son of 
Our teacher. I order you to return him." 

The ocean deity replied, "The boy was not actually taken by me but was 
captured by a demon named Paficajana. This great demon generally 
remains deep in the water in the shape of a conchshell. The son of Your 
teacher might be within the belly of the demon, having been devoured 
by him." 

On hearing this, Krsna dove deep into the water and caught hold of the 
demon Paficajana. He killed him on the spot but could not find the son 
of His teacher within his belly. Therefore He took the demon's dead 
body (in the shape of a conchshell) and returned to His chariot on the 
beach of Prabhasa-ksetra. From there He started for SamyamanI, the 



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residence of Yamaraja, the superintendent of death. Accompanied by 
His elder brother, Balarama, who is also known as Halayudha, Krsna 
arrived there and blew on His conchshell. 

Hearing the vibration, Yamaraja appeared and received Sri Krsna with 
all respectful obeisances. Yamaraja could understand who Krsna and 
Balarama were, and therefore he immediately offered his humble service 
to the Lord. Krsna had appeared on the surface of the earth like an 
ordinary human being, but actually Krsna and Balarama are the 
Supersoul living within the heart of every living entity. They are Visnu 
Himself but were playing just like ordinary human boys. As Yamaraja 
offered his services to the Lord, Sri Krsna asked him to return His 
teacher's son, who had come to him as a result of his work. "Considering 
My ruling supreme," said Krsna, "you should immediately return the son 
of My teacher." 

Yamaraja returned the boy to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and 
Krsna and Balarama brought him to his father. The brothers asked if 
Their teacher had anything more to ask from Them, but he replied, "My 
dear sons, You have done enough for me. I am now completely satisfied. 
What further want can there be for a man who has disciples like You? 
My dear boys, You may now go home. These glorious acts of Yours will 
always be renowned all over the world. You are above all blessing, yet it 
is my duty to bless You. I therefore give You the benediction that 
whatever You speak will remain as eternally fresh as the instructions of 
the Vedas. Your teachings will be honored not only within this universe 
or in this millennium but in all places and ages and will remain 
increasingly new and important." Due to this benediction from His 
teacher, Lord Krsna's Bhagavad-gltd is ever increasingly fresh and is 
renowned not only within this universe but in other planets and other 
universes also. 

Being ordered by Their teacher, Krsna and Balarama immediately 
returned home on Their chariot. They traveled at great speed, like the 
wind, and made sounds like the crashing of clouds. All the residents of 
Mathura, who had not seen Krsna and Balarama for a long time, were 
very much pleased to see Them again. They felt joyful, like a person who 
has regained his lost property. 



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65 



Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-fifth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Krsna Recovers the Son of His Teacher." 



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66 



CHAPTER FORTY-SIX 
Uddhava Visits Vrndavana 

Nanda Maharaja returned to Vrndavana without Krsna and Balarama. 
He was accompanied only by the cowherd boys and men. It was certainly 
a very pathetic scene for the gopis, mother Yasoda, SrimatI Radharani 
and all the residents of Vrndavana. Many devotees have tried to make 
adjustments to Krsna's being away from Vrndavana because, according 
to expert opinion, Krsna, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
never goes even a step out of Vrndavana. He always remains there. The 
explanation of expert devotees is that Krsna was actually not absent 
from Vrndavana; He came back with Nanda Maharaja as promised. 
When Krsna was starting for Mathura on the chariot driven by Akrura 
and the gopis were blocking the way, Krsna assured them that He was 
coming back just after finishing His business in Mathura. He told them 
not to be overwhelmed and in this way pacified them. But when He 
failed to come back with Nanda Maharaja, it appeared that He either 
cheated them or could not keep His promise. Expert devotees, however, 
have decided that Krsna was neither a cheater nor a breaker of promises. 
Krsna, in His original identity, returned with Nanda Maharaja and 
stayed with the gopis and mother Yasoda in His bhdva expansion. Krsna 
and Balarama remained in Mathura not in Their original forms but in 
Their expansions as Vasudeva and Sankarsana. The real Krsna and 
Balarama were in Vrndavana in Their bhdva manifestation, whereas in 
Mathura They appeared in the prabhava and vaibhava expansions. This 
is the expert opinion of advanced devotees of Krsna. Externally, 
however, They were absent from Vrndavana. Therefore, when Nanda 
Maharaja was preparing to return to Vrndavana, there was some 
discussion between him and the boys concerning how they could live in 
separation. The conclusion to separate was reached by mutual 
agreement. 

Vasudeva and Devaki, who happened to be the real parents of Krsna and 
Balarama, wanted to keep Them now because of the death of Kamsa. 
While Kamsa was alive, Krsna and Balarama were kept under the 
protection of Nanda Maharaja in Vrndavana. Now, naturally, the father 



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and mother of Krsna and Balarama wanted Them to remain, specifically 
for the reformatory function of purification, the sacred thread 
ceremony. They also wanted to give Them a proper education, for this is 
the duty of the father. Another consideration was that all the friends of 
Karhsa outside Mathura were planning to attack Mathura. For that 
reason also Krsna's presence was required. Krsna did not want 
Vrndavana disturbed by enemies like Dantavakra and Jarasandha. If 
Krsna were to go to Vrndavana, these enemies would not only attack 
Mathura but would go on to Vrndavana, and the peaceful inhabitants of 
Vrndavana would be disturbed. Krsna therefore decided to remain in 
Mathura, and Nanda Maharaja went back to Vrndavana. Although the 
inhabitants of Vrndavana felt separation from Krsna, the resulting 
ecstasy (bhdva) caused them to perceive that Krsna was always present 
with them by His Ilia, or pastimes. 

Since Krsna had departed from Vrndavana and gone to Mathura, the 
inhabitants of Vrndavana, especially mother Yasoda, Nanda Maharaja, 
Srimati Radharani, the gopls and the cowherd boys, were simply 
thinking of Krsna at every step. They were thinking, "Here Krsna was 
playing in this way. Here Krsna was blowing His flute. Krsna was joking 
with us in this way, and Krsna was embracing us like this." This is called 
llld-smarana, and it is the process of association with Krsna most 
recommended by great devotees; even Lord Caitanya, when He was at 
Purl, enjoyed llld-smarana association with Krsna. Those in the most 
exalted position of devotional service and ecstasy can live with Krsna 
always by remembering His pastimes. Srlla Visvanatha Cakravarti 
Thakura has given us a transcendental literary work entitled Krsna- 
bhdvandmrta, which is full with Krsna's pastimes. Exalted devotees can 
remain absorbed in Krsna-thought by reading such books. Any book of 
krsna-llld, even this book, Krsna, or our Teachings of Lord Caitanya, is 
actually solace for devotees feeling separation from Krsna. 
That Krsna and Balarama did not return to Vrndavana can be adjusted 
as follows: They did not break Their promise to return to Vrndavana, 
nor were They absent, but Their presence was necessary in Mathura. 
In the meantime, Uddhava, a cousin-brother of Krsna's, came to see 
Krsna from Dvaraka. He was the son of Vasudeva's brother and was 
almost the same age as Krsna. His bodily features resembled Krsna's 



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almost exactly. After Krsna returned from His teacher's home, He was 
pleased to see Uddhava, who happened to be His dearmost friend. Krsna 
wanted to send him to Vrndavana with a message to the residents to 
pacify their deep feelings of separation. 

As stated in the Bhagavad-glta, ye yatha mam prapadyante tarns tathaiva 
bhajamy aham: [Bg. 4.11] Krsna is very responsive. He responds in 
proportion to the devotee's advancement in devotional service. Thus, as 
the gopls were thinking of Krsna in separation twenty-four hours a day, 
so Krsna was also always thinking of the gopls, mother Yasoda, Nanda 
Maharaja and the other residents of Vrndavana. Although He appeared 
to be away from them, He could understand how they were 
transcendentally aggrieved, and so He immediately wanted to send 
Uddhava to give them a message of solace. 

Uddhava is described as the most exalted personality in the Vrsni 
dynasty, being almost equal to Krsna. He was a great friend of Krsna's, 
and being the direct student of Brhaspati, the teacher and priest of the 
heavenly planets, he was very intelligent and sharp in decision. 
Intellectually, he was highly qualified. Krsna, being a very loving friend 
of Uddhava's, wanted to send him to Vrndavana just to study the highly 
elevated ecstatic devotional service practiced there. Even if one is highly 
elevated in material education and is even the disciple of Brhaspati, he 
still has to learn from the gopls and the other residents of Vrndavana 
how to love Krsna to the highest degree. It was Krsna's special favor to 
Uddhava to send him to Vrndavana with a message for the residents 
there, which was meant to pacify them. 

Lord Krsna is also named Hari, which means "one who takes away all 
distress from the surrendered souls." Lord Caitanya states that there 
cannot be, at any time, a worship as exalted as that realized by the gopls. 
Being very anxious about the gopls' grief, Krsna talked with Uddhava 
and politely requested him to go to Vrndavana. Shaking Uddhava's 
hand with His own hands, He said, "My dear gentle friend Uddhava, 
please go immediately to Vrndavana and try to pacify My father and 
mother, Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda-devi, and the gopls. They are grief- 
stricken, as if suffering from great ailments. Go and give them a message. 
I hope their ailments will be partially relieved. The gopls are always 
absorbed in thoughts of Me. They have dedicated body, desire, life and 



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69 



soul to Me. I am anxious not only for the gopls but for anyone who 
sacrifices society, friendship, love and personal comforts for Me. It is My 
duty to protect such exalted devotees. The gopls are the most dear. They 
always think of Me in such a way that they remain overwhelmed and 
almost dead in anxiety due to separation from Me. They are keeping 
alive simply by thinking that I am returning to them very soon." 
Requested by Lord Krsna, Uddhava immediately left on his chariot and 
carried the message to Gokula. He approached Vrndavana at sunset, 
when the cows were returning home from the pasturing ground. 
Uddhava and his chariot were covered by the dust raised by the hooves 
of the cows. He saw bulls running after cows for mating; other cows, 
with overladen milk bags, were running after their calves to feed them 
with milk. Uddhava saw that the entire land of Vrndavana was filled 
with white cows and their calves, running here and there all over 
Gokula, and he could hear the sound of milking. Every residential house 
in Vrndavana was decorated for the worship of the sun-god and the fire- 
god and for the reception of guests, cows, brdhmanas and demigods. 
Every home was sanctified by lights and incense. All over Vrndavana 
there were nice gardens filled with flowers and the sounds of humming 
bees and singing birds. The lakes were filled with lotus flowers and with 
ducks and swans. 

Uddhava entered the house of Nanda Maharaja and was received as a 
representative of Vasudeva. Nanda Maharaja offered him a sitting place 
and sat down with him to ask about messages from Krsna, Balarama and 
other family members in Mathura. He could understand that Uddhava 
was a very confidential friend of Krsna's and therefore must have come 
with good messages. "My dear Uddhava," he said, "how is my friend 
Vasudeva enjoying life? He is now released from the prison of Karhsa, 
and he is now with his friends and his children, Krsna and Balarama. So 
he must be very happy. Tell me about him and his welfare. We are also 
very happy that Karhsa, the most sinful demon, has been killed. He was 
always envious of the family of the Yadus, his relatives. Now, because of 
his sinful activities, he is dead and gone, along with all his brothers. 
"Please let us know whether Krsna now remembers His father and 
mother and His friends and companions in Vrndavana. Does He like to 
remember His cows, His gopls, His Govardhana Hill, His pasturing 



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70 



grounds in Vrndavana? Or has He now forgotten all these? Is there any 
possibility of His coming back to His friends and relatives so we can 
again see His beautiful face, with its raised nose and lotuslike eyes? We 
remember how He saved us from the forest fire, how He saved us from 
the great snake Kaliya in the Yamuna, and how He saved us from so 
many other demons, and we simply think of how much we are obliged to 
Him for giving us protection in many dangerous situations. My dear 
Uddhava, when we think of Krsna's beautiful face and eyes and His 
different activities here in Vrndavana, we become so overwhelmed that 
all our activities cease. We simply think of Krsna, how He used to smile 
and how He looked upon us with grace. When we go to the banks of the 
Yamuna or the lakes of Vrndavana or near Govardhana Hill or the 
pasturing field, we see that the impressions of Krsna's footprints are still 
on the surface of the earth. We remember Him playing in those places, 
because He was constantly visiting them. When His appearance within 
our minds becomes manifest, we immediately become absorbed in 
thought of Him. 

"We think, therefore, that Krsna and Balarama may be chief demigods 
in heaven who have appeared before us like ordinary boys to execute 
particular duties on earth. This was foretold by Garga Muni when 
making Krsna's horoscope. If Krsna were not a great personality, how 
could He have killed Karhsa, who possessed the strength of ten thousand 
elephants? Besides Karhsa, there were very strong wrestlers, as well as the 
giant elephant Kuvalayapida. Krsna killed all these animals and demons 
just as a lion kills an ordinary animal. How wonderful it is that Krsna 
took in one hand the big, heavy bow made of three joined palm trees and 
broke it very quickly. How wonderful it is that for seven days 
continuously He held up Govardhana Hill with one hand. How 
wonderful it is that He has killed all the demons like Pralambasura, 
Dhenukasura, Aristasura, Trnavarta and Bakasura. They were so strong 
that even the demigods in the heavenly planets were afraid of them, but 
Krsna killed them as easily as anything." 

While describing the uncommon activities of Krsna before Uddhava, 
Nanda Maharaja gradually became overwhelmed and could no longer 
speak. As for mother Yasoda, she sat by the side of her husband and 
heard the pastimes of Krsna without speaking. She simply cried 



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71 



incessantly, and milk poured from her breasts. When Uddhava saw 
Maharaja Nanda and Yasoda so extraordinarily overwhelmed with 
thoughts of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and when he 
experienced their extraordinary affection for Him, he also became 
overwhelmed and spoke as follows: "My dear mother Yasoda and Nanda 
Maharaja, you are most respectable among human beings because no one 
but you can meditate in such transcendental ecstasy." 
Uddhava continued, "Balarama and Krsna are the original Personalities 
of Godhead, from whom the cosmic manifestation emanates. They are 
chief among all personalities. Each of Them is both the material and the 
efficient cause of this material creation. Material nature is conducted by 
the purusa incarnations, who all act under Krsna and Balarama. By 
Their partial representation They enter the hearts of all living entities. 
They are the source of all knowledge and all forgetfulness also." This is 
confirmed in the Bhagavad-gltd, Fifteenth Chapter: "I am present in 
everyone's heart, and I cause one to remember and forget. I am the 
original compiler of the Veddnta, and I am the actual knower of the 
Vedas." Uddhava continued, "If at the time of death a person can fix his 
pure mind upon Krsna even for a moment, he becomes eligible to give up 
his material body and appear in his original, spiritual body, just as the 
sun rises with all illumination. Passing from his life in this way, he 
immediately enters into the spiritual kingdom, Vaikuntha." 
This is the result of Krsna conscious practice. If we practice Krsna 
consciousness in this present body while in a healthy condition and in 
good mind, simply by chanting the holy mahd-mantra, Hare Krsna, we 
will have every possibility of fixing the mind upon Krsna at the time of 
death. If we do this, then our lives become successful without any doubt. 
But if we keep our minds always absorbed in fruitive activities for 
material enjoyment, then naturally at the time of death we shall think of 
such activities and again be forced to enter material, conditioned bodies 
to suffer the threefold miseries of material existence. Therefore, to 
remain always absorbed in Krsna consciousness was the standard of the 
inhabitants of Vrndavana, as exhibited by Maharaja Nanda, Yasoda and 
the gopls. If we can simply follow in their footsteps, even to a minute 
proportion, our lives will surely become successful, and we shall enter 
the spiritual kingdom, Vaikuntha. 



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72 



"My dear mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja," Uddhava continued, 
"you have thus fixed your minds wholly and solely upon that Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, Narayana, whose transcendental form is the 
cause of impersonal Brahman. The Brahman effulgence is only the 
bodily rays of Narayana, and because you are always absorbed in ecstatic 
thought of Krsna and Balarama, what pious activity remains for you to 
perform? I have brought a message from Krsna that He will very soon 
come back to Vrndavana and satisfy you by His personal presence. Krsna 
promised that He would come back to Vrndavana after finishing His 
business in Mathura. This promise He will surely fulfill. I therefore 
request the two of you, who are the best among all who are fortunate, 
not to be aggrieved on account of Krsna's absence. 
"You are already perceiving His presence twenty-four hours a day, yet 
He will come and see you very soon. Actually He is present everywhere 
and in everyone's heart, just as fire is present in wood. Since Krsna is 
the Supersoul, no one is His enemy, no one is His friend, no one is equal 
to Him, and no one is lower or higher than Him. He actually has no 
father, mother, brother or relative, nor does He require society, 
friendship and love. He does not have a material body like us; He never 
appears or takes birth as an ordinary human being. He does not appear 
in higher or lower species of life like ordinary living entities, who are 
forced to take birth on account of their previous fruitive activities. He 
appears by His internal potency just to give protection to His devotees. 
He is never influenced by the modes of material nature, but when He 
appears within this material world He seems to act like an ordinary 
living entity under the spell of the modes of material nature. In fact, He 
is the overseer of this material creation, and while remaining unaffected 
by the material modes of nature, He creates, maintains and dissolves the 
whole cosmic manifestation. We wrongly look upon Krsna and Balarama 
as ordinary human beings, as whirling men see the whole world whirling 
around them. The Personality of Godhead is no one's son; He is actually 
everyone's father, mother and supreme controller. There is no doubt of 
this. Whatever is already being experienced, whatever is not being 
experienced, whatever is already in existence, not in existence or 
existing in the future, whatever is the smallest and whatever is the 
biggest have no existence outside the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 



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73 



Everything rests in Him, but He is untouched by everything 
manifested." 

Nanda and Uddhava thus passed the whole night discussing Krsna. In 
the morning, the gopls prepared for morning drati by lighting their lamps 
and sprinkling butter mixed with yogurt. After finishing their mangala- 
drati, they engaged themselves in churning butter from yogurt. While 
the gopls were thus engaged, the lamps reflected on their ornaments 
made the ornaments still more bright. Their churning rods, their arms, 
their earrings, their bangles, their breasts — everything moved, and 
kunkuma powder gave their faces a saffron luster comparable to the 
rising sun. While making sounds by churning, they also sang the glories 
of Krsna. The two sound vibrations mixed together, ascended to the sky 
and sanctified the whole atmosphere. 

After sunrise the gopls came as usual to offer their respects to Nanda 
Maharaja and Yasoda, but when they saw the golden chariot of Uddhava 
at the door, they began to inquire among themselves: What was that 
chariot, and to whom did it belong? Some of them inquired whether 
Akrura, who had taken away Krsna, had returned. They were not very 
pleased with Akrura because, being engaged in the service of Karhsa, he 
had taken lotus-eyed Krsna away to the city of Mathura. All the gopls 
conjectured that Akrura might have come again to fulfill another cruel 
plan. But they thought, "We are now dead bodies without our supreme 
master, Krsna. What further act can he perpetrate against these dead 
bodies?" While they were talking in this way, Uddhava finished his 
morning ablutions, prayers and chanting and came before them. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-sixth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Uddhava Visits Vrnddvana." 



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74 



CHAPTER FORTY-SEVEN 
Delivery of the Message of Krsna to the Gopis 

When the gopis saw Uddhava, they observed that his features almost 
exactly resembled those of Krsna, and they could understand that he was 
a great devotee of Krsna's. His arms were very long and his eyes were just 
like the petals of the lotus flower. He was dressed in yellow garments and 
wore a garland of lotus flowers. His face was very beautiful. Having 
achieved the liberation of sdrupya and thus having the same bodily 
features as the Lord, Uddhava looked almost like Krsna. In Krsna's 
absence, the gopis had been coming dutifully to visit mother Yasoda's 
house early in the morning. They knew that Nanda Maharaja and 
mother Yasoda were always grief-stricken, and they had made it their 
first duty to come and pay their respects to the most exalted elder 
personalities of Vrndavana. Seeing the friends of Krsna, Nanda and 
Yasoda would remember Krsna Himself and be satisfied, and the gopis 
also would be pleased by seeing Nanda and Yasoda. 
When the gopis saw that Uddhava was representing Krsna even in his 
bodily features, they thought he must be a soul completely surrendered 
unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They began to contemplate, 
"Who is this boy who looks just like Krsna? He has the same eyes like 
lotus petals, the same raised nose and beautiful face, and he is smiling in 
the same way. In all respects he resembles Krsna, Syamasundara, the 
beautiful blackish boy. He is even dressed exactly like Krsna. Where has 
this boy come from? Who is the fortunate girl who has him for her 
husband?" Thus they talked among themselves. They were very anxious 
to know about him, and because they were simple, unsophisticated 
village girls, they surrounded Uddhava. 

When the gopis understood that Uddhava had a message from Krsna, 
they became very happy and called him to a secluded place and offered 
him a nice sitting place. They wanted to talk with him very freely and 
did not want to be embarrassed before unknown persons. They 
welcomed him with polite words, in great submissiveness: "We know 
that you are a most confidential associate of Krsna and that He has 
therefore sent you to Vrndavana to give solace to His father and mother. 



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We can understand that family affection is very strong. Even great sages 
who have taken to the renounced order of life cannot give up family 
affection cent percent. Sometimes they think of their family members. 
Krsna has therefore sent you to His father and mother; otherwise He has 
no further business in Vrndavana. He is now in town. What does He 
have to know about Vrndavana village or the cows' pasturing grounds? 
These are not at all useful for Krsna because He is now a man of the city. 
"Surely He has nothing to do with persons who do not happen to be His 
family members. Friendships with those outside the family continue as 
long as there is some selfish interest in them; otherwise, why should one 
bother about those outside the family? Specifically, a person attached to 
the wives of others is interested in them as long as there is a need of 
sense gratification, like the bumblebees who have interest in the flowers 
as long as they want to take the honey out of them. It is psychologically 
very natural that a prostitute does not care for her paramour as soon as 
he loses his money. Similarly, when the citizens find that a government 
is incapable of giving them full protection, they leave the country. A 
student, after finishing his education, gives up his relationship with the 
teacher and the school. A priest, after taking his reward from the 
worshiper, gives him up. When the fruit season is over, birds are no 
longer interested in the tree. Just after eating in the house of a host, the 
guest gives up his relationship with him. After a forest fire, when there 
is a scarcity of green grass, deer and other animals give up the forest. 
And so a man, after enjoying his girl friend, gives up his connection 
with her." In this way, all the gopls indirectly accused Krsna by citing 
many analogies. 

Uddhava understood that the gopls of Vrndavana were all simply 
absorbed in the thought of Krsna and His childhood activities. While 
talking about Krsna with Uddhava, they forgot all about their household 
business. They even forgot about themselves as their interest in Krsna 
increased more and more. 

One of the gopls, namely Srlmati RadharanI, was so much absorbed in 
thoughts of Krsna by dint of Her personal touch with Him that She 
actually began to talk with a bumblebee which was flying there and 
trying to touch Her lotus feet. While the other gopls were talking with 
Krsna's messenger Uddhava, Srlmati RadharanI took that bumblebee to 



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be a messenger from Krsna and began to talk with it as follows: 
"Bumblebee, you are accustomed to drinking honey from flower to 
flower, and therefore you have preferred to be a messenger of Krsna, 
who is of the same nature as you. I can see on your mustaches the red 
powder of kunkuma which was smeared on the flower garland of Krsna 
while it was pressed against the breasts of some other girl who is My 
competitor. You feel very proud because of having touched that garland, 
and your mustaches have become reddish. You have come here carrying 
a message for Me, anxious to touch My feet. But My dear bumblebee, let 
Me warn you — don't touch Me! I don't want any messages from your 
unreliable master. You are the unreliable servant of an unreliable 
master." It may be that SrimatI Radharani purposely addressed that 
bumblebee sarcastically in order to indirectly criticize the messenger 
Uddhava. Like the other gopls, SrimatI Radharani saw that Uddhava's 
bodily features resembled Krsna's, but she also saw him as being equal to 
Krsna. Indirectly, therefore, She indicated that Uddhava was as 
unreliable as Krsna Himself. SrimatI Radharani wanted to give specific 
reasons why She was dissatisfied with Krsna and His messenger. 
She addressed the bumblebee, "Your master Krsna is exactly of your 
quality. You sit down on a flower, and after taking a little honey you 
immediately fly away and sit in another flower and taste. You're just like 
your master Krsna. Only once did He give Me the chance to taste the 
touch of His lips, and then He left us altogether. I know also that the 
goddess of fortune, LaksmI, who is always in the midst of the lotus 
flower, is constantly engaged in Krsna's service. But I do not know how 
she has become so captivated by Krsna and why she is so much attached 
to Krsna, although she knows His actual character. Maybe she is so much 
captivated by Krsna's sweet words that she cannot understand His real 
character. As far as we are concerned, we are more intelligent than the 
goddess of fortune. We are not going to be cheated anymore by Krsna or 
His messengers." 

According to expert opinion, LaksmI, the goddess of fortune, is a 
subordinate expansion of SrimatI Radharani. As Krsna has numerous 
expansions of visnu-murtis , so His pleasure potency, Radharani, also has 
innumerable expansions of goddesses of fortune. Therefore the goddess 
of fortune, Laksmljl, is always anxious to be elevated to the position of 



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the gopls. 

Srimati Radharani continued, "You foolish bumblebee, you are trying to 
satisfy Me and get a reward by singing the glories of Krsna, but it is a 
useless attempt. We are bereft of all our possessions. We are away from 
our homes and families. We know very well about Krsna. We know even 
more than you. So whatever you make up about Him will be old stories 
to us. Krsna is now in the city and is better known as the friend of 
Arjuna. He now has many new girlfriends, who are no doubt very happy 
in His association. Because the lusty, burning sensation of their breasts 
has been satisfied by Krsna, they are now happy. If you go there and 
glorify Krsna, they may be pleased to reward you. You are just trying to 
pacify Me by your behavior as a flatterer, and therefore you have put 
your head under My feet. But I know the trick you are trying to play. I 
know that you are a messenger coming from an even greater trickster, 
Krsna. Therefore, please leave Me. 

"I can understand that you are expert in reuniting two opposing parties, 
but at the same time you must know that I cannot place My reliance 
upon you, nor upon your master, Krsna. We left our husbands, children 
and relatives only for Krsna, yet He did not feel any obligation in 
exchange. At last He left us forlorn. Do you think we can place our faith 
in Him again? We know that Krsna cannot live for a moment without 
the association of young women. That is His nature. He is finding 
difficulty in Mathura because He is no longer in the village among 
innocent cowherd girls. He is in aristocratic society and must be feeling 
difficulty in making friendships with other young girls. Perhaps you have 
come here to canvass again or to take us there. But why should Krsna 
expect us to go there? He is greatly qualified to entice all other girls, not 
only in Vrndavana or Mathura but all over the universe. His 
wonderfully enchanting smile is so attractive and the movements of His 
eyebrows are so beautiful that He can call for any woman from the 
heavenly, middle or plutonic planets. Even Maha-LaksmI, the greatest of 
all goddesses of fortune, hankers to render Him some service. In 
comparison to all these women of the universe, what are we? We are 
very insignificant. 

"Krsna advertises Himself as magnanimous, and He is praised by great 
saints. His qualifications would be perfectly utilized if He would only 



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show us some mercy, for we are so much downtrodden and neglected by 
Him. You poor messenger, you are only a less intelligent servant. You do 
not know much about Krsna, how ungrateful and hardhearted He has 
been, not only in this life, but in His previous lives also. We have all 
heard this from our grandmother Paurnamasi. She has informed us that 
Krsna was born in a ksatriya family previous to this birth and was known 
as Ramacandra. In that birth, instead of killing Vail, an enemy of His 
friend, in the manner of a ksatriya, He killed him just like a hunter. A 
hunter takes a secure hiding place and then kills an animal without 
facing it. So Lord Ramacandra, as a ksatriya, should have fought with 
Vail face to face, but, instigated by His friend, He killed him from 
behind a tree. Thus He deviated from the religious principles of a 
ksatriya. Also, He was so attracted by the beauty of Slta that He 
converted Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana, into an ugly woman by 
cutting off her nose and ears. Surpanakha proposed an intimate 
relationship with Him, and as a ksatriya He should have satisfied her. 
But He was so henpecked that He could not forget Slta-devI and 
converted Surpanakha into an ugly woman. Before that birth as a 
ksatriya, He took His birth as a brahmana boy known as Vamanadeva 
and asked charity from Bali Maharaja. Bali Maharaja was so 
magnanimous that he gave Him whatever he had, yet Krsna as 
Vamanadeva ungratefully arrested him just like a crow and pushed him 
down to the Patala kingdom. We know all about Krsna and how 
ungrateful He is. But here is the difficulty: in spite of His being so cruel 
and hardhearted, it is very difficult for us to give up talking about Him. 
And it is not only we who are unable to give up this talk, but great sages 
and saintly persons also engage in talking about Him. We gopis of 
Vrndavana do not want to make any more friendships with this blackish 
boy, but we do not know how we shall be able to give up remembering 
and talking about His activities." 

Since Krsna is absolute, His so-called unkind activities are as relishable 
as His kind activities. Therefore saintly persons and great devotees like 
the gopis cannot give up Krsna in any circumstances. Lord Caitanya 
therefore prayed, "Krsna, You are free and independent in all respects. 
You can either embrace Me or crush Me under Your feet — whatever 
You like. You may make Me brokenhearted by not letting Me see You 



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throughout My whole life, but You are My only object of love." 
"In My opinion," Srimati Radharani continued, "no one should hear 
about Krsna, because as soon as a drop of the nectar of His 
transcendental activities is poured into the ear, one immediately rises 
above the duality of attraction and rejection. Being completely freed 
from the contamination of material attachment, one gives up 
attachment for this material world, including family, home, wife, 
children and everything else materially dear to every person. Being 
deprived of all material acquisitions, one makes his relatives and himself 
unhappy. Then he wanders in search of Krsna, either as a human being 
or in other species of life, even as a bird, and voluntarily accepts the 
profession of a mendicant. It is very difficult to actually understand 
Krsna — His name, His qualities, His form, His pastimes, His 
paraphernalia and His entourage." 

Srimati Radharani continued to speak to the black messenger of Krsna: 
"Please do not talk any more about Krsna. It is better to talk about 
something else. We are already doomed, like the black-spotted she-deer 
in the forest who are enchanted by the sweet musical vibration of the 
hunter. In the same way, we have been enchanted by the sweet words of 
Krsna, and by thinking of the rays of His toenails again and again, we 
are becoming more and more lusty for His association. Therefore, I 
request you not to talk of Krsna anymore." 

These talks of Radharani with the bumblebee messenger, including Her 
accusing Krsna in so many ways and at the same time expressing Her 
inability to give up talking about Him, are signs of the topmost 
transcendental ecstasy, called mahd-bhdva. The ecstatic mahd-bhdva 
manifestation is possible only in the persons of Radharani and Her 
associates. Great dcdryas like Srila Rupa Gosvami and Visvanatha 
Cakravarti Thakura have analyzed these mahd-bhdva speeches of Srimati 
Radharani and described their different varieties, such as udghurnd, or 
bewilderment, and jalpa-pratijalpa, or talking in different ways. These 
are the signs of ujjvala-rasa, or the brightest jewel of love of God. 
While Radharani was talking with the bee and the bee was flying hither 
and thither, it all of a sudden disappeared from Her sight. She was in full 
mourning due to separation from Krsna and felt ecstasy by talking with 
the bee. But as soon as the bee disappeared, She became almost mad, 



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thinking that the messenger-bee might have returned to Krsna to inform 
Him all about Her talking against Him. "Krsna must be very sorry to 
hear it," She thought. In this way She was overwhelmed by another type 
of ecstasy. 

In the meantime, the bee, flying hither and thither, appeared before Her 
again. She thought, "Krsna is still kind to Me. In spite of the messenger's 
carrying disruptive messages, He is so kind that He has again sent the 
bee to take Me to Him." Srlmati RadharanI was very careful this time 
not to say anything against Krsna. "My dear friend, I welcome you," She 
said. "Krsna is so kind that He has again sent you. Krsna is so kind and 
affectionate to Me that He has fortunately sent you back, in spite of 
your carrying My message against Him. All good fortune to you, My dear 
friend. Now you may ask from Me whatever you want. I shall give you 
anything because you are so kind to Me. You have come to take Me to 
Krsna because He is not able to come here, being surrounded by new 
girlfriends in Mathura. But you are a tiny creature. How can you take 
Me there? How will you be able to help Me meet Krsna while He is 
taking rest there with the goddess of fortune and embracing her to His 
chest? Never mind. Let us forget all these things about My going there or 
sending you. Please let Me know how Krsna is faring in Mathura. Tell 
Me if He still remembers His foster father, Nanda Maharaja, His 
affectionate mother, Yasoda, His cowherd friends and His poor friends 
like us, the gopls. I am sure He must sometimes sing about us, who served 
Him just like maidservants, without any payment. Is there any possibility 
that Krsna will come back and place His aguru-scented hand on our 
heads? Please put all these inquiries to Krsna." 

Uddhava was standing near, and he heard RadharanI talking in this way, 
as if She had become almost mad for Krsna. He was exceedingly 
surprised at how the gopls were accustomed to think of Krsna constantly 
in that topmost ecstasy of mahd-bhdva love. He had brought a message in 
writing from Krsna, and now he wanted to present it before the gopls, 
just to pacify them. He said, "My dear gopls, your mission of human life is 
now successful. You are all wonderful devotees of the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead; therefore you are eligible to be worshiped by all 
kinds of people. You are worshipable throughout the three worlds 
because your minds are wonderfully absorbed in the thought of 



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Vasudeva, Krsna. He is the goal of all pious activities and ritualistic 
performances, such as giving charity, rigidly following the austerity of 
vows, undergoing severe penances and igniting the fire of sacrifice. He is 
the purpose behind the chanting of different mantras, the reading of the 
Vedas, controlling the senses and concentrating the mind in meditation. 
These are some of the many different processes for self-realization and 
attainment of perfection of life. But actually they are meant only for 
realizing Krsna and dovetailing oneself in the transcendental loving 
service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." This is the last 
instruction of the Bhagavad-glta also; although there are descriptions of 
different processes of self-realization, at the end Krsna recommended 
one give up everything and simply surrender unto Him. All other 
processes are meant for teaching one how to surrender ultimately unto 
the lotus feet of Krsna. The Bhagavad-glta also says that this 
surrendering process is completed by a sincere person after executing 
the processes of self-realization in wisdom and austerity for many births. 
Since the perfection of such austerity was completely manifested in the 
lives of the gopls, Uddhava was fully satisfied upon seeing their 
transcendental position. He continued, "My dear gopls, the mentality 
you have developed in relationship with Krsna is very, very difficult to 
attain, even for great sages and saintly persons. You have attained the 
highest perfectional stage of life. It is a great boon for you that you have 
fixed your minds upon Krsna and have decided to have Krsna only, 
giving up your families, homes, relatives, husbands and children for the 
sake of the Supreme Personality. Because your minds are now fully 
absorbed in Krsna, the Supreme Soul, universal love has automatically 
developed in you. I think myself very fortunate that I have been favored, 
by your grace, to see you in this situation." 

When Uddhava said that he had a message from Krsna, the gopls were 
more interested in hearing the message than in hearing about their 
exalted position. They did not very much like being praised for their 
high position. They showed their anxiety to hear the message Uddhava 
had brought from Krsna. Uddhava said, "My dear gopls, I am especially 
deputed to carry this message to you, who are such great and gentle 
devotees. Krsna has specifically sent me to you because I am His most 
confidential servitor." 



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Uddhava did not deliver to the gopls the written message brought from 
Krsna, but he personally read it to them. The message was very gravely 
written, so that not only the gopls but all empiric philosophers might 
understand how pure love of God is intrinsically integrated with all the 
different energies of the Supreme Lord. From Vedic information it is 
understood that the Supreme Lord has multi-energies: pardsya saktir 
vividhaiva sruyate. Also, the gopls were such intimate personal friends of 
Krsna that while He was writing the message for them He was so moved 
that He could not write distinctly. Uddhava, as a student of Brhaspati, 
had very sharp intelligence, so instead of handing over the written 
message, he thought it wise to read it personally and explain it to them. 
Uddhava continued, "These are the words of the Personality of 
Godhead. "My dear gopls, My dear friends, please know that separation 
between ourselves is impossible at any time, at any place or under any 
circumstances, because I am all-pervading.'" 

This all-pervasiveness of Lord Krsna is explained in the Bhagavad-gltd, 
in both the Ninth and Seventh chapters. In the Ninth Chapter Krsna is 
described as all-pervasive in His impersonal feature; everything rests in 
Him, but He is not personally present everywhere. And in the Seventh 
Chapter it is stated that the five gross elements (earth, water, fire, air 
and sky) and the three subtle elements (mind, intelligence and ego) are 
all His inferior energies. But there is another, superior energy, which is 
called the living entity. The living entities are also directly part and 
parcel of Krsna. Therefore Krsna is both the material and the efficient 
cause of everything. He is always intermingled with everything as cause 
and effect. Not only the gopls but all living entities are always 
inseparably connected with Krsna in all circumstances. The gopls, 
however, are perfectly and thoroughly in cognition of this relationship 
with Krsna, whereas the living entities under the spell of mdyd, the 
illusory energy, are forgetful of Krsna and think themselves separate 
identities having no connection with Him. 

Love of Krsna, or Krsna consciousness, is therefore the perfection of real 
knowledge in understanding things as they are. Our minds can never be 
vacant. The mind is constantly occupied with some kind of thought, and 
the subject matter of such thought cannot be outside the eight elements 
of Krsna's energy. One who knows this philosophical aspect of all 



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thoughts is actually a wise man, and he surrenders unto Krsna. The gopls 
are the epitome of this perfectional stage of knowledge. They are not 
simple mental speculators. Their minds are always in Krsna. The mind is 
nothing but the energy of Krsna. Actually, any person who can think, 
feel and will cannot be separated from Krsna. But the stage in which he 
can understand his eternal relationship with Krsna is called Krsna 
consciousness. The diseased condition in which he cannot understand 
his eternal relationship with Krsna is the contaminated stage, or mdyd. 
Since the gopls are on the platform of pure transcendental knowledge, 
their minds are always filled with Krsna consciousness. For example, as 
there is no separation between fire and air, there is no separation 
between Krsna and the living entities. When the living entities forget 
Krsna, they are not in their normal condition. As for the gopls, because 
they are always thinking of Krsna, they are on the absolute stage of 
perfection in knowledge. The so-called empiric philosophers sometimes 
think that the path of bhakti is meant for the less intelligent, but unless 
the so-called man of knowledge comes to the platform of bhakti, his 
knowledge is certainly impure and imperfect. Actually, the stage of 
forgetfulness of our eternal relationship with Krsna is separation. But 
that is also illusory because there is no such separation. The gopls were 
not situated in that illusory condition of life, so even from the 
philosophical point of view, for them there was no separation. 
Uddhava continued reading Krsna's message: " 'Nothing is separate from 
Me; the whole cosmic manifestation is resting on Me and is not separate 
from Me. Before the creation, I was existing.' " This is confirmed in the 
Vedic literature: eko narayana dsln na brahmd na Isdnah. "Before 
creation, there was only Narayana. There were no Brahma and no Siva." 
The whole cosmic manifestation is manipulated by the three modes of 
material nature. It is said that Brahma, the incarnation of the quality of 
passion, created this universe, but Brahma is the secondary creator; the 
original creator is Narayana. This is confirmed by Sankaracarya: 
ndrdyanah paro 'vyaktdt. "Narayana is transcendental, beyond this 
cosmic creation." In this way, nothing within this cosmic manifestation 
is separate from Krsna, although Krsna's original form is not visible in 
everything. 
Krsna creates, maintains and annihilates the whole cosmic 



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manifestation by expanding Himself in different incarnations. 
Everything is Krsna, and everything depends on Krsna, but He is not 
perceived in the material energy, and therefore it is called mdyd, or 
illusion. In the spiritual energy, however, Krsna is perceived at every 
step, in all circumstances. This perfectional stage of understanding is 
represented by the gopls. As Krsna is always aloof from the cosmic 
manifestation although it is completely dependent on Him, so a living 
entity is also completely aloof from his material, conditioned life 
although the material body has developed on the basis of spiritual 
existence. In the Bhagavad-gltd the whole cosmic manifestation is 
accepted as the mother of the living entities, and Krsna is the father. As 
the father impregnates the mother by injecting the living entity within 
the womb, Krsna injects all the living entities into the womb of the 
material nature. They come out in different bodies according to their 
different fruitive activities. But in all circumstances, the living entity is 
aloof from this material, conditioned life. 

If we simply study our own bodies, we can understand how a living 
entity is always aloof from this bodily encagement. Every action of the 
body takes place by the interactions of the three modes of material 
nature. We can see at every moment many changes taking place in our 
bodies, but the spirit soul is aloof from all changes. One can neither 
create nor annihilate nor interfere with the actions of material nature. 
The living entity is therefore entrapped by the material body and 
conditioned in three stages, namely while awake, asleep and 
unconscious. The mind acts throughout all three conditions of life; the 
living entity in his sleeping or dreaming condition sees something as 
real, and when awake he sees the same thing as unreal. It is concluded, 
therefore, that under certain circumstances he accepts something as 
real, and under other circumstances he accepts the very same thing as 
unreal. These matters are the subject of study for the empiric 
philosopher or the sdnkhya-yogl. To come to the right conclusion, 
sdnkhya-yogls undergo severe austerities and penances, practicing 
control of the senses and renunciation. 

All these different ways of determining the ultimate goal of life are 
compared to rivers, while Krsna is compared to the ocean. As the rivers 
flow down toward the ocean, all attempts for knowledge flow toward 



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Krsna. After many, many births of endeavor, when one actually comes 
to Krsna, he attains the perfectional stage. Krsna says in the Bhagavad- 
gitd, kleso 'dhikataras tesdm: [Bg. 12.5] "All are pursuing the path of 
realizing Me, but those who have adopted courses without any bhakti 
find their endeavor very troublesome." Krsna cannot be understood 
unless one comes to the point of bhakti. 

Three paths are enunciated in the Gitd: karma-yoga, jndna-yoga and 
bhakti-yoga. Those who are too much addicted to fruitive activities are 
advised to perform actions which will bring them to bhakti. Those who 
are addicted to the pursuits of empiric philosophy are also advised to act 
in such a way that they will realize bhakti. Karma-yoga is therefore 
different from ordinary karma, and jndna-yoga is different from ordinary 
jfidna. Ultimately, as stated by the Lord in the Bhagavad-gitd, bhaktyd 
mam abhijdndti: [Bg. 18.55] only through execution of devotional service 
can one understand Krsna. The perfectional stage of devotional service 
was achieved by the gopis because they did not care to know anything 
but Krsna. It is confirmed in the Vedas, kasmin bhagavo vijndte sarvam 
idarh vijndtam bhavati. This means that simply by knowing Krsna one 
automatically acquires all other knowledge. 
Uddhava continued reading Krsna's message: " 'Transcendental 
knowledge of the Absolute is no longer necessary for you. You were 
accustomed to loving Me from the very beginning of your lives.' " 
Knowledge of the Absolute Truth is specifically required for persons 
who want liberation from material existence. But one who has attained 
love for Krsna is already on the platform of liberation. As stated in the 
Bhagavad-gitd, anyone engaged in unalloyed devotional service is to be 
considered situated on the transcendental platform of liberation. The 
gopis did not actually feel any pangs of material existence, but they felt 
the separation of Krsna. Krsna therefore said, "My dear gopis, to increase 
your superexcellent love for Me, I have purposely separated Myself from 
you so that you may be in constant meditation on Me." 
The gopis are in the perfectional stage of meditation. Yogis are generally 
more fond of meditating than of executing devotional service to the 
Lord, but they do not know that the perfection of the yoga system is the 
attainment of devotion. This constant meditation on Krsna by the gopis 
is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gitd to be the topmost yoga. Krsna knew 



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very well the psychology of women. When a woman's beloved is away, 
she thinks of him more in meditation than when he is present before 
her. Krsna wanted to teach through the behavior of the gopls that one 
who is constantly in trance like the gopls surely attains His lotus feet. 
Lord Caitanya taught people in general the method of vipralambha-seva, 
which is the method of rendering service unto the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead in the feeling of separation. The six Gosvamls also taught 
worship of Krsna in the feeling of the gopls in separation. The prayers of 
Srmivasacarya about the Gosvamls explain these matters very clearly. 
Srmivasacarya said that the Gosvamls were always absorbed in the ocean 
of transcendental feelings in the mood of the gopls. When they lived in 
Vrndavana they were searching for Krsna, crying, "Where are You, 
Krsna? O gopls, where are You? Where are You, Srlmati Radharani?" 
They never said, "We have now seen Radha and Krsna, and therefore 
our mission is fulfilled." Their mission remained always unfulfilled; they 
never met Radha and Krsna. 

Krsna reminded the gopls that at the time of the rasa dance those of 
them who could not join Him for the rasa-llla gave up their bodies 
simply by thinking of Him. Absorption in Krsna consciousness by feeling 
separation is thus the quickest method for attainment of the lotus feet of 
Krsna. By the personal statement of Krsna, the gopls were convinced 
about the strength of feelings of separation. They were actually 
experiencing the supernatural method of Krsna worship and were much 
relieved by understanding that Krsna was not away from them but 
always with them. 

The gopls therefore received Uddhava very happily and began to speak 
as follows: "We have heard that King Karhsa, who was always a source of 
trouble for the Yadu dynasty, has now been killed. This is good news for 
us. We hope, therefore, that the members of the Yadu dynasty are very 
happy in the association of Krsna, who can fulfill all the desires of His 
devotees. My dear Uddhava, kindly let us know whether Krsna 
sometimes thinks of us while in the midst of the highly enlightened 
society girls in Mathura. We know that the women and girls in Mathura 
are not village women. They are enlightened and beautiful. Their 
bashful smiling glances and other feminine features must be very 
pleasing to Krsna. We know very well that Krsna is always fond of the 



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behavior of beautiful women. It seems, therefore, that He has been 
entrapped by the women of Mathura. My dear Uddhava, will you kindly 
let us know if Krsna sometimes remembers us while in the midst of other 
women?" 

Another gopl inquired, "Does He remember that night in the midst of 
kumuda flowers and moonlight, when Vrndavana became exceedingly 
beautiful? Krsna was dancing with us, and the atmosphere was 
surcharged with the sound of foot bells. We exchanged pleasing 
conversation then. Does He remember that particular night? We 
remember that night, and we feel separation. Separation from Krsna 
makes us agitated, as if there were fire in our bodies. Does He propose to 
come back to Vrndavana to extinguish that fire, just as a cloud appears 
in the sky to extinguish a forest fire by its downpour?" 
Another gopl said, "Krsna has killed His enemy, and He has victoriously 
achieved the kingdom of Kamsa. Maybe He is married with a king's 
daughter by this time and living happily among His kinsmen and friends. 
Therefore, why should He come to this village of Vrndavana?" 
Another gopl said, "Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the 
husband of the goddess of fortune, and He is self-sufficient. He has no 
business either with us, the girls in the Vrndavana forest, or with the 
city girls in Mathura. He is the great Supersoul; He has nothing to do 
with any of us, either here or there." 

Another gopl said, "It is an unreasonable hope for us to expect Krsna to 
come back to Vrndavana. We should try instead to be happy in 
disappointment. Even Pirigala, the great prostitute, said that 
disappointment is the greatest pleasure. We all know these things, but it 
is very difficult for us to give up the expectation of Krsna's coming back. 
Who can forget a solitary conversation with Krsna, on whose chest the 
goddess of fortune always remains, in spite of Krsna's not desiring her? 
My dear Uddhava, Vrndavana is the land of rivers, forests and cows. 
Here the vibration of the flute was heard, and Krsna, along with His 
elder brother, Sri Balarama, enjoyed the atmosphere in our company. 
Thus the environment of Vrndavana constantly reminds us of Krsna 
and Balarama. On the land of Vrndavana are the impressions of His 
footprints, the residence of the goddess of fortune, and because of such 
signs we cannot forget Krsna." 



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The gopls further expressed that Vrndavana was still full of all opulence 
and good fortune; there was no scarcity or want in Vrndavana as far as 
material necessities were concerned, but in spite of such opulence they 
could not forget Krsna and Balarama. 

"We constantly remember various attractive features of beautiful 
Krsna — His walking, His smiling, His joking words. We have all become 
lost by the dealings of Krsna, and it is impossible for us to forget Him. 
We always pray for Him, exclaiming, "Dear Lord, dear husband of the 
goddess of fortune, dear Lord of Vrndavana and deliverer of the 
distressed devotees! We are now fallen and merged in an ocean of 
distress. Please, therefore, come back to Vrndavana and deliver us from 
this pitiable condition."' 

Uddhava minutely studied the transcendental abnormal condition of 
the gopls in their separation from Krsna, and he thought it wise to repeat 
again and again all the pastimes the gopls enjoyed with Him. 
Materialistic persons are always burning in a blazing fire of material 
miseries. The gopls were burning in a transcendental blazing fire due to 
separation from Krsna. The blazing fire exasperating the gopls, however, 
is different from the fire of the material world. The gopls constantly 
wanted the association of Krsna, whereas the materialistic person 
constantly wants the advantage of material comforts. 
It is stated by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura that Krsna saved the 
cowherd boys from the blazing forest fire within a second, while their 
eyes were closed. Similarly, Uddhava advised the gopls that they could be 
saved from the fire of separation by closing their eyes and meditating on 
the activities of Krsna from the very beginning of their association with 
Him. From the outside, the gopls could visualize all the pastimes of Krsna 
by hearing the descriptions of Uddhava, and from within they could 
remember those pastimes. From the instructions of Uddhava, the gopls 
could understand that Krsna was not separate from them. As they were 
constantly thinking of Krsna, Krsna was also thinking of them 
constantly at Mathura. 

Uddhava's messages and instructions saved the gopls from immediate 
death, and the gopls acknowledged the benediction from Uddhava. 
Uddhava practically acted as the preceptor spiritual master of the gopls, 
and in return they worshiped him as they would worship Krsna. It is 



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recommended in authoritative scriptures that the spiritual master be 
worshiped on the level of the Supreme Personality of Godhead because 
of being His very confidential servitor, and it is accepted by great 
authorities that the spiritual master is the external manifestation of 
Krsna. The gopls were relieved from their transcendental burning 
condition by realizing that Krsna was with them. Internally, they 
remembered His association within their hearts, and externally 
Uddhava helped them associate with Krsna by his conclusive 
instructions. 

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in the scriptures as 
adhoksaja, which indicates that He is beyond the perception of all 
material senses. Although beyond the material senses, He is present in 
everyone's heart. At the same time, He is present everywhere by His all- 
pervasive feature of Brahman. One can realize all three transcendental 
features of the Absolute Truth (Bhagavan, the Personality of Godhead; 
Paramatma, the localized Supersoul; and the all-pervasive Brahman) 
simply by studying the condition of the gopls in their meeting with 
Uddhava, as described in Srlmad-Bhdgavatam. 

It is said by Srmivasacarya that the six Gosvamis were always merged in 
thoughts of the activities of the gopls. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also 
recommended the gopls' method of worshiping the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead as superexcellent. Srlla Sukadeva Gosvami has also 
recommended that anyone who hears from the right source about the 
dealings of the gopls with Krsna and who follows the instructions of a 
bona fide spiritual master will be elevated to the topmost position of 
devotional service and be able to give up the lust of material enjoyment. 
All the gopls were solaced by the instructions of Uddhava, and they 
requested him to stay in Vrndavana for a few days more. Uddhava 
agreed to their proposal and stayed with them not only for a few days 
but for a few months. He always kept them engaged in thinking of the 
transcendental message of Krsna and His pastimes, and the gopls felt as 
if they were experiencing direct association with Krsna. While Uddhava 
remained in Vrndavana, the inhabitants enjoyed his association. As 
they discussed the activities of Krsna, the days passed just like moments. 
Vrndavana's natural atmosphere, with the presence of the river 
Yamuna, its nice orchards of trees decorated with various fruits, 



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Govardhana Hill, caves, blooming flowers — all combined to inspire 
Uddhava to narrate Krsna's pastimes. The inhabitants enjoyed 
Uddhava's association in the same way as they enjoyed the association of 
Krsna. 

Uddhava was attracted by the attitude of the gopls because they were 
completely attached to Krsna, and he was inspired by the gopls' anxiety 
for Krsna. He offered them his respectful obeisances and composed songs 
in praise of their transcendental qualities as follows: "Among all the 
living entities who have accepted the human form of life, the gopls are 
superexcellently successful in their mission. Their thought is eternally 
absorbed in the lotus feet of Krsna. Great sages and we ourselves also try 
to be absorbed in meditation on the lotus feet of Krsna, but the gopls, 
having lovingly accepted the Lord, are automatically accustomed to this 
and do not depend on any yogic practice. The conclusion is that one 
who has attained the gopls' condition of life does not have to take birth 
as Lord Brahma or be born in a brdhmana family or be initiated as a 
brdhmana." 

Sri Uddhava confirmed Lord Krsna's statement in the Bhagavad-gltd 
that one who takes shelter of Him for the right purpose, be he a sudra, a 
woman or a member of a low-grade family, will attain the highest goal of 
life. The gopls have set the standard of devotion for the whole world. 
One who follows in the footsteps of the gopls by constantly thinking of 
Krsna can attain the highest perfectional stage of spiritual life. The gopls 
were born not of any highly cultured family but of cowherd men, yet 
they developed the highest love of Krsna, who is the Supersoul, the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Supreme Brahman. For self- 
realization or God realization there is no need to take birth in a high 
family. The only thing needed is development of ecstatic love of God. In 
achieving perfection in Krsna consciousness, no other qualification is 
required than to be constantly engaged in the loving service of Krsna, 
the supreme nectar, the reservoir of all pleasure. The effect of taking up 
Krsna consciousness is just like that of drinking nectar: with or without 
one's knowledge, it will act. The active principle of Krsna consciousness 
will equally manifest itself everywhere; it does not matter how and 
where one has taken his birth. Krsna will bestow His benediction upon 
anyone who takes to Krsna consciousness, without any doubt. 



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Uddhava continued, "The supreme benediction attained by the gopls in 
spite of their being born in the families of cowherd men was never 
attained even by the goddess of fortune herself, and certainly not by the 
denizens of heaven, though the bodily scent of the women there is 
exactly like the scent of the lotus. The gopls are so fortunate that during 
the rasa-llla Krsna personally embraced them with His arms and kissed 
them face to face. Certainly it is not possible for any women in the three 
worlds to achieve this except the gopls. 

"Therefore I wish to take birth as one of the plants or creepers in 
Vrndavana, who are so fortunate that the gopls trample them. The gopls 
have so lovingly served Krsna, Mukunda Himself, the giver of liberation, 
who is searched after by great sages and saintly persons. For His sake 
they left everything — their families, their children, their friends, their 
homes and all worldly connections." 

Uddhava appreciated the exalted position of the gopls and wished to fall 
down and take the dust of their feet on his head. Yet he dared not ask 
the gopls to offer the dust from their feet; perhaps they would not be 
agreeable. Therefore, to have his head smeared with the dust of the 
gopls' feet without their knowledge, he desired to become only an 
insignificant clump of grass or herbs in the land of Vrndavana. 
The gopls were so much attracted to Krsna that when they heard the 
vibration of His flute they instantly left their homes, families, children, 
honor and feminine bashfulness and ran towards the place where Krsna 
was standing. They did not consider whether they were passing over the 
road or through the jungles. Imperceptibly, the dust of their feet was 
bestowed on small grasses and herbs of Vrndavana. Not daring to place 
the dust of the gopls' feet on his own head in this life, Uddhava aspired 
to have a future birth in the position of a clump of grass or herbs. He 
would then be able to have the dust of the gopls' feet. 
Uddhava appreciated the extraordinary fortune of the gopls, who were 
relieved of all material pangs and anxieties by placing on their beautiful 
high breasts the lotus feet of Krsna, which are worshiped not only by the 
goddess of fortune but by such exalted demigods as Brahma and Lord 
Siva, and which great yogis meditate upon within their hearts. Thus 
Uddhava prayed to be constantly honored by the dust from the lotus 
feet of the gopls, whose chanting of Lord Krsna's transcendental 



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pastimes has become celebrated all over the three worlds. 
After living in Vrndavana for some time, Uddhava desired to go back to 
Krsna, and he begged permission to leave from Nanda Maharaja and 
Yasoda. He had a farewell meeting with the gopls, and, taking permission 
from them also, he mounted his chariot to start for Mathura. 
When Uddhava was about to leave, all the inhabitants of Vrndavana, 
headed by Maharaja Nanda and Yasoda, came to bid him good-bye and 
presented him with various kinds of valuable goods secured in 
Vrndavana. They expressed their feelings with tears in their eyes due to 
intense attachment for Krsna. All of them desired a benediction from 
Uddhava. They desired to always remember the glorious activities of 
Krsna and wanted their minds to be always fixed upon His lotus feet, 
their words to be always engaged in glorifying Him, and their bodies to 
be always engaged in bowing down as they constantly remembered Him. 
This prayer of the inhabitants of Vrndavana is the superexcellent type 
of self-realization. The method is very simple: to fix the mind always on 
the lotus feet of Krsna, to talk always of Krsna without passing on to any 
other subject matter, and to engage the body in Krsna's service 
constantly. Especially in this human form of life, one should engage his 
life, resources, words and intelligence for the service of the Lord. Only 
such activities can elevate a human being to the highest level of 
perfection. This is the verdict of all authorities. 
The inhabitants of Vrndavana said, "By the will of the supreme 
authority and according to the results of our own work, we may take our 
birth anywhere. It doesn't matter where we are born, but our only prayer 
is that we may simply be engaged in Krsna consciousness." A pure 
devotee of Lord Krsna never desires to be promoted to the heavenly 
planets, or even to Vaikuntha or Goloka Vrndavana, because he has no 
desire for his own personal satisfaction. A pure devotee regards heaven 
and hell to be on an equal level. Without Krsna, heaven is hell; and with 
Krsna, hell is heaven. 

When Uddhava had been sufficiently honored and worshiped by the 
pure devotees of Vrndavana, he returned to Mathura and to his master, 
Krsna. After offering respects by bowing down before Lord Krsna and 
Balarama, he described the wonderful devotional life of the inhabitants 
of Vrndavana. He presented all the gifts given by the inhabitants of 



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Vrndavana to Vasudeva, the father of Krsna, and Ugrasena, Krsna's 
grandfather. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-seventh Chapter of 
Krsna, "Delivery of the Message of Krsna to the Gopis." 



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CHAPTER FORTY-EIGHT 
Krsna Pleases His Devotees 

For days together, Krsna heard from Uddhava all the details of his visit 
to Vrndavana, especially the condition of His father and mother and of 
the gopls and the cowherd boys. Lord Krsna was fully satisfied that 
Uddhava was able to solace them by his instructions and by the message 
delivered to them. 

Lord Krsna then decided to go to the house of Kubja, the hunchback 
woman who had pleased Him by offering Him sandalwood pulp when He 
was entering the city of Mathura. As stated in the Bhagavad-gltd, Krsna 
always tries to please His devotees as much as the devotees try to please 
Krsna. As the devotees always think of Krsna within their hearts, Krsna 
also thinks of His devotees within Himself. When Kubja was converted 
into a beautiful society girl, she wanted Krsna to come to her place so 
that she could try to receive and worship Him in her own way. Society 
girls generally try to satisfy their clients by offering their bodies for the 
men to enjoy. But this society girl, Kubja, was actually captivated by a 
lust to satisfy her senses with Krsna. When Krsna desired to go to the 
house of Kubja, He certainly had no desire for sense gratification. By 
supplying the sandalwood pulp to Krsna, Kubja had already satisfied His 
senses. On the plea of her sense gratification, however, He decided to go 
to her house, not actually for sense gratification but to turn her into a 
pure devotee. Krsna is always served by many thousands of goddesses of 
fortune; therefore He has no need to satisfy His senses by going to a 
society girl. But because He is kind to everyone, He decided to go there. 
It is said that the moon does not withhold its shining from the courtyard 
of a crooked person. Similarly, Krsna's transcendental mercy is never 
denied to anyone who has rendered service unto Him, whether through 
lust, anger, fear or pure love. In the Caitanya-caritdmrta it is stated that 
if one wants to serve Krsna and at the same time wants to satisfy his own 
lusty desires, Krsna will handle the situation so that the devotee forgets 
his lusty desires and becomes fully purified and constantly engaged in 
the service of the Lord. 
To fulfill His promise, Krsna, along with Uddhava, went to the house of 



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Kubja, who was very eager to get Krsna for the satisfaction of her lusty 
desires. When Krsna reached her house, He saw that it was completely 
decorated in a way to excite the lusty desires of a man. This suggests that 
there were many nude pictures, on top of which were canopies and flags 
embroidered with pearl necklaces, along with comfortable beds and 
cushioned chairs. The rooms were provided with flower garlands and 
were nicely scented with incense and sprinkled with scented water. And 
the rooms were illuminated by nice lamps. 

When Kubja saw that Lord Krsna had come to her house to fulfill His 
promised visit, she immediately got up from her chair to receive Him 
cordially. Accompanied by her many girlfriends, she began to talk with 
Him with great respect and honor. After offering Him a nice place to sit, 
she worshiped Lord Krsna in a manner just suitable to her position. 
Uddhava was similarly received by Kubja and her girlfriends, but he did 
not want to sit on an equal level with Krsna and thus simply sat down on 
the floor. 

As one usually does in such situations, Krsna entered the bedroom of 
Kubja without wasting time. In the meantime, Kubja took her bath and 
smeared her body with sandalwood pulp. She dressed herself with nice 
garments, valuable jewelry, ornaments and flower garlands. After 
chewing betel nut and other intoxicating eatables and spraying herself 
with scents, she appeared before Krsna. Her smiling glance and moving 
eyebrows were full of feminine bashfulness as she stood gracefully before 
Lord Krsna, who is known as Madhava, the husband of the goddess of 
fortune. When Krsna saw Kubja hesitating to come before Him, He 
immediately caught hold of her hand, which was decorated with bangles. 
With great affection, He dragged her near Him and made her sit by His 
side. Simply by having previously supplied pulp of sandalwood to the 
Supreme Lord, Krsna, Kubja became free from all sinful reactions and 
eligible to enjoy with Him. She then took Krsna's lotus feet and placed 
them on her breasts, which were burning with the blazing fire of lust. By 
smelling the fragrance of Krsna's lotus feet, she was immediately relieved 
of all lusty desires. She was thus allowed to embrace Krsna with her arms 
and mitigate her long-cherished desire to have Krsna as a visitor in her 
house. 
It is stated in the Bhagavad-gltd that one must be freed of all material 



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sinful reactions before one can engage in the transcendental loving 
service of the Lord. Simply by supplying sandalwood pulp to Krsna, 
Kubja was thus rewarded. She was not trained to worship Krsna in any 
other way; therefore she wanted to satisfy Him by her profession. It is 
confirmed in the Bhagavad-gltd that the Lord can be worshiped even by 
one's profession, if it is sincerely offered for the pleasure of the Lord. 
Kubja told Krsna, "My dear friend, kindly remain with me at least for a 
few days and enjoy with me. My dear lotus-eyed friend, I cannot leave 
You immediately. Please grant my request." 

As stated in the Vedic versions, the Supreme Personality of Godhead 
has multipotencies. According to expert opinion, Kubja represents the 
bhu-sakti potency of Krsna, just as Srlmati Radharani represents His cit- 
sakti potency. Although Kubja requested Krsna to remain with her for 
some days, Krsna politely impressed upon her that it was not possible for 
Him to stay. Krsna visits this material world occasionally, whereas His 
connection with the spiritual world is eternal. Krsna is always present 
either in the Vaikuntha planets or in the Goloka Vrndavana planet. 
The technical term of His presence in the spiritual world is aprakata-llld. 
After satisfying Kubja with sweet words, Krsna returned home with 
Uddhava. There is a warning in Srlmad-Bhdgavatam that Krsna is not 
very easily worshiped, for He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
the chief among the visnu-tattvas. To worship Krsna or have association 
with Him is not very easy. Specifically, there is a warning for devotees 
attracted to Krsna through conjugal love: it is not good for them to 
desire sense gratification by direct association with Krsna. Actually, the 
activities of sense gratification are material. In the spiritual world there 
are symptoms like kissing and embracing, but there is no sense- 
gratificatory process as it exists in the material world. This warning is 
specifically for those known as sahajiyds, who take it for granted that 
Krsna is an ordinary human being. They desire to enjoy sex life with 
Him in a perverted way. In a spiritual relationship, sense gratification is 
most insignificant. Anyone who desires a relationship of perverted sense 
gratification with Krsna must be considered less intelligent. His 
mentality requires to be reformed. 

After a while, Krsna fulfilled His promise to visit Akrura at his house. 
Akrura was in relationship with Krsna as His servitor, and Krsna wanted 



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to get some service from him. He went there accompanied by Lord 
Balarama and Uddhava. When Krsna, Balarama and Uddhava 
approached the house of Akrura, Akrura came forward, embraced 
Uddhava and offered respectful obeisances, bowing down before Lord 
Krsna and Balarama. Krsna, Balarama and Uddhava offered him 
obeisances in turn and were offered appropriate sitting places. When all 
were comfortably seated, Akrura washed their feet and sprinkled the 
water on his head. Then he offered nice clothing, flowers and 
sandalwood pulp in regular worship. All three of them were very 
satisfied by Akrura's behavior. Akrura then bowed down before Krsna, 
putting his head on the ground. Then, placing Krsna's lotus feet on his 
lap, Akrura gently began to massage them. When Akrura was fully 
satisfied in the presence of Krsna and Balarama, his eyes filled with tears 
of love for Krsna, and he began to offer his prayers as follows. 
"My dear Lord Krsna and Balarama, it is very kind of You to have killed 
Karhsa and his associates. You have delivered the whole family of the 
Yadu dynasty from the greatest calamity. The Yadus will always 
remember Your saving of their great dynasty. My dear Lord Krsna and 
Balarama, both of You are the original personality from whom 
everything has emanated, the original cause of all causes. You have 
inconceivable energy, and You are all-pervasive. There is no cause and 
effect, gross or subtle, but You. You are the Supreme Brahman realized 
by the study of the Vedas. By Your inconceivable energy, You are 
actually visible before us. You create this cosmic manifestation by Your 
own potencies, and You enter into it Yourself. As the five material 
elements — earth, water, fire, air and sky — are distributed in everything 
manifested by different kinds of bodies, so You alone enter the various 
bodies created by Your own energy. You enter the body as the individual 
soul and, independently, as the Supersoul." It is confirmed in the 
Bhagavad-gltd that the material body is created by Krsna's inferior 
energy, that the living entities — the individual souls — are His parts and 
parcels, and that the Supersoul is His localized representation. Thus 
while the material body, the living entity and the Supersoul constitute 
an individual living being, originally they are all different energies of 
the one Supreme Lord. 
Akrura continued: "In the material world, You create, maintain and 



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dissolve the whole manifestation by the interactions of the three 
material qualities, namely goodness, passion and ignorance. But You are 
not implicated in the activities of those material qualities, for Your 
supreme knowledge is never overcome like the knowledge of the 
individual living entity." 

The Supreme Lord enters the material cosmos and causes creation, 
maintenance and destruction in their due course, whereas the part-and- 
parcel living entity enters the material elements and has his material 
body created for him. The difference between the living entity and the 
Lord is that the living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and 
has the tendency to be overcome by the interactions of the material 
qualities. Krsna, the Parabrahman, or the Supreme Brahman, being 
always situated in full knowledge, is never overcome by such activities. 
Therefore Krsna is called Acyuta, meaning "He who never falls down." 
Krsna's knowledge of His spiritual identity is never overcome by 
material action, whereas the minute part-and-parcel living entities are 
prone to forget their spiritual identity due to material action. The 
individual living entities are eternally part and parcel of God, minute 
sparks of the original fire, Krsna. As sparks are prone to be extinguished, 
but not the blazing fire, so the living entities can be overcome by 
material activities, whereas Krsna never is. 
Akrura continued: "Less intelligent men misunderstand Your 
transcendental form to be made of material energy. But that concept is 
not at all applicable to You. Actually, You are all-spiritual, and there is 
no difference between You and Your body. Therefore, there is no 
question of Your being conditioned or liberated. You are ever liberated 
in any condition of life. As stated in the Bhagavad-gltd, only fools and 
rascals consider You an ordinary man. To consider Your Lordship one of 
us, conditioned by the material nature, is a mistake due to our imperfect 
knowledge. When people deviate from the original knowledge of the 
Vedas, they try to identify the ordinary living entities with Your 
Lordship, who have appeared on this earth in Your original form to 
reestablish the real knowledge that the living entities are neither one 
with nor equal to the Supreme God. My dear Lord, You are always 
situated in uncontaminated goodness (suddha-sattva). Your appearance 
is necessary to reestablish actual Vedic knowledge, as opposed to the 



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atheistic philosophy which tries to establish that God and the living 
entities are one and the same. My dear Lord Krsna, this time You have 
appeared in the home of Vasudeva as His son, with Your plenary 

s 

expansion, Sri Balarama. Your mission is to kill all the atheistic royal 
families and destroy their huge military strength. You have advented 
Yourself to minimize the burden of the world, and to fulfill this mission 
You have glorified the dynasty of Yadu by appearing as one of its 
members. 

"My dear Lord, today my home has been purified by Your presence. I 
have become the most fortunate person in the world. The Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, who is worshipable by all different kinds of 
demigods, Pitas, kings, emperors and other living entities and who is the 
Supersoul of everything, has come into my home. The water of His lotus 
feet purifies the three worlds, and now He has kindly come to my place. 
Who in the three worlds among factually learned men will not take 
shelter of Your lotus feet and surrender unto You? Who, knowing well 
that no one can be as affectionate as You are to Your devotees, is so 
foolish that he will decline to become Your devotee? Throughout the 
Vedic literature it is declared that You are the dearmost friend of every 
living entity. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gltd: suhrdarh sarva- 
bhutdndm. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, completely 
capable of fulfilling the desires of Your devotees. You are the real friend 
of everyone. In spite of giving Yourself to Your devotees, You are never 
depleted of Your original potency. Your potency neither decreases nor 
increases in volume. 

"My dear Lord, it is very difficult for even great mystic yogis and 
demigods to ascertain Your movements or approach You, yet out of Your 
causeless mercy You have kindly consented to come to my home. This is 
the most auspicious moment in the journey of my material existence. By 
Your grace only, I can now understand that my home, my wife, my 
children and my worldly possessions are all bonds to material existence. 
Please cut the knot and save me from this entanglement of false society, 
friendship and love." 

Lord Sri Krsna was very much pleased by Akrura's offering of prayers. 
His smile captivating Akrura more and more, the Lord replied to his 
submissive devotional statements as follows: "My dear Akrura, in spite of 



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your submissiveness, I consider you My superior, on the level with My 
father and teacher and most well-wishing friend. You are therefore to be 
worshiped by Me, and since you are My uncle I am always to be 
protected by you. I desire you to maintain Me, for I am one of your own 
children. Apart from this filial relationship, an exalted devotee like you 
is always to be worshiped by everyone. Anyone who desires good fortune 
must offer his respectful obeisances unto personalities like you, who are 
greater than the demigods. People worship the demigods when in need 
of some sense gratification, and the demigods offer benedictions to their 
devotees after being worshiped. But a devotee like you, Akrura, is always 
ready to offer people the greatest benediction. A saintly person or 
devotee is free to offer benedictions to everyone, whereas the demigods 
can offer benedictions only after being worshiped. One can take 
advantage of a place of pilgrimage only after going there, and worshiping 
a particular demigod involves waiting a long time for the fulfillment of 
one's desire, but saintly persons like you, My dear Akrura, can 
immediately fulfill all the desires of a devotee. My dear Akrura, you are 
always Our friend and well-wisher. You are always ready to act for Our 
welfare. Kindly, therefore, go to Hastinapura and see what arrangement 
has been made for the Pandavas." 

Krsna was anxious to know about the sons of Pandu because at a very 
young age they had lost their father. Being very friendly to His devotees, 
Krsna was anxious to know about them, and therefore He deputed 
Akrura to go to Hastinapura and get information of the real situation. 
Krsna continued: "I have heard that after King Pandu's death, his young 
sons — Yudhisthira, Bhlma, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva — along with 
their widowed mother, have come under the charge of Dhrtarastra, who 
is to look after them as their guardian. But I have also heard that 
Dhrtarastra is not only blind from birth but also blind in his affection 
for his cruel son Duryodhana. The five Pandavas are the sons of King 
Pandu, but Dhrtarastra, due to Duryodhana's plans and designs, is not 
favorably disposed towards them. Kindly go there and study how 
Dhrtarastra is dealing with the Pandavas. On receipt of your report, I 
shall consider how to favor them." In this way the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead, Krsna, ordered Akrura to go to Hastinapura, and then He 
returned home, accompanied by Balarama and Uddhava. 



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Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-eighth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Krsna Pleases His Devotees." 



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102 



CHAPTER FORTY-NINE 
Ill-motivated Dhrtarastra 

Thus ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, 
Akrura visited Hastinapura, said to be the site of what is now New 
Delhi. The part of New Delhi still known as Indraprastha is accepted by 
people in general as the old capital of the Pandavas. The very name 
Hastinapura suggests that there were many hastls, or elephants; because 
the Pandavas kept many elephants in the capital, it was called 
Hastinapura. Keeping elephants is very expensive; to keep many 
elephants, therefore, the kingdom must be very rich, and Hastinapura, as 
Akrura saw when he reached it, was full of elephants, horses, chariots 
and other opulences. The kings of Hastinapura were taken to be the 
ruling kings of the whole world. Their fame was widely spread 
throughout the entire kingdom, and their administration was conducted 
under the good counsel of learned brdhmanas. 

After seeing the very opulent capital city, Akrura met King Dhrtarastra. 
He also saw grandfather Bhisma sitting with him. After meeting them, 
he went to see Vidura and then Kunti, Akrura's cousin. One after 
another, he saw King Bahlika and his son Somadatta, Dronacarya, 
Krpacarya, Kama and Suyodhana. (Suyodhana is another name of 
Duryodhana.) Then he saw the son of Dronacarya, Asvatthama, as well 
as the five Pandava brothers and other friends and relatives living in the 
city. All those who met Akrura, known also as the son of Gandini, were 
very much pleased to receive him and inquire about the welfare of their 
respective relatives. He was offered a good seat at his receptions, and he 
in turn inquired all about the welfare and activities of his relatives. 
Since he was deputed by Lord Krsna to visit Hastinapura, it is 
understood that he was very intelligent in studying a diplomatic 
situation. Dhrtarastra was unlawfully occupying the throne after the 
death of King Pandu, despite the presence of Pandu's sons. Akrura could 
understand very well that ill-motivated Dhrtarastra was much inclined 
in favor of his own sons. In fact, Dhrtarastra had already usurped the 
kingdom and was now intriguing to dispose of the five Pandava brothers. 
Akrura knew that all the sons of Dhrtarastra, headed by Duryodhana, 



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were very crooked politicians. Dhrtarastra did not act in accordance 
with the good instructions given by Bhisma and Vidura; instead, he was 
being conducted by the ill instructions of such persons as Kama and 
Sakuni. Akrura decided to stay in Hastinapura for a few months to study 
the whole political situation. 

Gradually Akrura learned from Kunti and Vidura that the sons of 
Dhrtarastra were intolerant and envious of the five Pandava brothers 
because of their extraordinary learning in military science and their 
greatly developed bodily strength. The Pandavas acted as truly 
chivalrous heroes, exhibited all the good qualities of ksatriyas and were 
very responsible princes, always thinking of the welfare of the citizens. 
Akrura also learned that the envious sons of Dhrtarastra had tried to kill 
the Pandavas by poisoning them. 

Akrura happened to be one of the cousins of Kunti; therefore, after 
meeting him, she began to inquire about her paternal relatives. 
Thinking of her birthplace and beginning to cry, she asked Akrura 
whether her father, mother, brothers, sisters and other friends at home 
still remembered her. She especially inquired about Krsna and Balarama, 
her glorious nephews. She asked, "Does Krsna, the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead, who is very affectionate to His devotees, remember my 
sons? Does Balarama remember us?" Inside herself, Kunti felt like a she- 
deer in the midst of tigers, and actually her position was like that. After 
the death of her husband, King Pandu, she was supposed to take care of 
the five Pandava children, but the sons of Dhrtarastra were always 
planning to kill them. She was certainly living like a poor innocent 
animal in the midst of several tigers. Being a devotee of Lord Krsna, she 
always thought of Him and expected that one day Krsna would come 
and save them from their dangerous position. She inquired from Akrura 
whether Krsna proposed to come to advise the fatherless Pandavas how 
to get free of the intrigues of Dhrtarastra and his sons. Talking with 
Akrura about all these affairs, she felt herself helpless and exclaimed, 
"My dear Krsna, my dear Krsna! You are the supreme mystic, the 
Supersoul of the universe. You are the real well-wisher of the whole 
universe. My dear Govinda, at this time You are far away from me, yet I 
pray to surrender unto Your lotus feet. I am now grief-stricken with my 
five fatherless sons. I can fully understand that but for Your lotus feet 



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there is no shelter or protection. Your lotus feet can deliver all aggrieved 
souls because You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can be 
safe from the clutches of repeated birth and death by Your mercy only. 
My dear Krsna, You are the supreme pure one, the Supersoul and the 
master of all yogis. What can I say? I can simply offer my respectful 
obeisances unto You. Accept me as Your fully surrendered devotee." 
Although Krsna was not present before her, Kunti offered her prayers to 
Him as if she were in His presence face to face. This is possible for 
anyone following in the footsteps of Kunti. Krsna does not have to be 
physically present everywhere. He is actually present everywhere by 
spiritual potency, and one simply has to surrender unto Him sincerely. 
When Kunti was offering her prayers very feelingly to Krsna, she could 
not check herself and began to cry loudly before Akrura. Vidura was also 
present, and both Akrura and Vidura became very sympathetic to the 
mother of the Pandavas and began to solace her by glorifying her five 
sons, namely Yudhisthira, Arjuna, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva. They 
pacified her, saying that her sons were extraordinarily powerful; she 
should not be perturbed about them, since they were born of great 
demigods like Yamaraja, Indra and Vayu. 

Akrura decided to return and report on the strained circumstances in 
which he found Kunti and her five sons. He first wanted to give good 
advice to Dhrtarastra, who was so favorably inclined toward his own 
sons and unfavorably inclined toward the Pandavas. When King 
Dhrtarastra was sitting among friends and relatives, Akrura began to 
address him, calling him Vaicitravlrya. Vaicitravlrya means "the son of 
Vicitravlrya." Vicitravlrya was the name of Dhrtarastra's father, but 
Dhrtarastra was actually the begotten son not of Vicitravlrya but of 
Vyasadeva. Formerly it was the system that if a man were unable to 
beget a child, his brother could beget a child in the womb of his wife 
(devarena sutotpattih) . That system is now forbidden in this Age of Kali. 
Akrura called Dhrtarastra Vaicitravlrya sarcastically because he was not 
actually begotten by his father. He was the son of Vyasadeva. When a 
child was begotten in the wife by the husband's brother, the child was 
claimed by the husband, but of course the child was not begotten by the 
husband. This sarcastic remark pointed out that Dhrtarastra was falsely 
claiming the throne on hereditary grounds. Actually Pandu had been 



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the rightful king, and in the presence of Pandu's sons, the Pandavas, 
Dhrtarastra should not have occupied the throne. 

Akrura said, "My dear son of Vicitravirya, you have unlawfully usurped 
the throne of the Pandavas. Anyway, somehow or other you are now on 
the throne. Therefore I beg to advise you to please rule the kingdom on 
moral and ethical principles. If you do so and try to please your subjects 
in that way, your name and fame will be perpetual." Akrura hinted that 
although Dhrtarastra was ill-treating his nephews, the Pandavas, they 
happened to be his subjects. "Even if you treat them not as the owners of 
the throne but as your subjects, you should impartially think of their 
welfare as though they were your own sons. But if you do not follow this 
principle and act in just the opposite way, you will be unpopular among 
your subjects, and in the next life you will have to live in a hellish 
condition. I therefore hope you will treat your sons and the sons of 
Pandu equally." Akrura hinted that if Dhrtarastra did not treat the 
Pandavas and his sons as equals, surely there would be a fight between 
the two camps of cousins. Since the cause of the Pandavas was just, they 
would come out victorious, and the sons of Dhrtarastra would be killed. 
This was a prophecy told by Akrura to Dhrtarastra. 
Akrura further advised Dhrtarastra, "In this material world, no one can 
remain an eternal companion to another. Only by chance do we 
assemble together in a family, society, community or nation, but at the 
end, because every one of us has to give up the body, we must be 
separated. One should not, therefore, be unnecessarily affectionate 
toward family members." Dhrtarastra's affection was also unlawful and 
did not show much intelligence. In plain words, Akrura hinted to 
Dhrtarastra that his staunch family affection was due to his gross 
ignorance of fact or his blindness to moral principles. Although we 
appear combined together in a family, society or nation, each of us has 
an individual destiny. Everyone takes birth according to individual past 
work; therefore everyone must individually enjoy or suffer the result of 
his own karma. There is no possibility of improving one's destiny by 
cooperative living. Sometimes it happens that one's father accumulates 
wealth by illegal ways, and the son takes away the money, although it is 
hard-earned by the father, just as a small fish in the ocean eats the 
material body of a large, old fish. One ultimately cannot accumulate 



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wealth illegally for the gratification of his family, society, community or 
nation. An illustration of this principle is that many great empires 
which developed in the past are no longer existing because their wealth 
was squandered away by later descendants. One who does not know this 
subtle law of fruitive activities and who thus gives up the moral and 
ethical principles carries with him only the reactions of his sinful 
activities. His ill-gotten wealth and possessions are taken by someone 
else, and he goes to the darkest region of hellish life. One should not, 
therefore, accumulate more wealth than allotted to him by destiny; 
otherwise he will be factually blind to his own interest. Instead of 
fulfilling his self-interest, he will act in just the opposite way for his own 
downfall. 

Akrura continued: "My dear Dhrtarastra, I beg to advise you not to be 
blind to the facts of material existence. Material, conditioned life, either 
in distress or in happiness, is to be accepted as a dream. One should try 
to bring his mind and senses under control and live peacefully for 
spiritual advancement in Krsna consciousness." In the Caitanya- 
caritdmrta it is said that except for persons in Krsna consciousness, 
everyone is always disturbed in mind and full of anxiety. Even those 
trying for liberation, or merging into the Brahman effulgence, or the 
yogis who try to achieve perfection in mystic power cannot have peace 
of mind. Pure devotees of Krsna have no demands to make of Krsna. 
They are simply satisfied with service to Him. Actual peace and mental 
tranquillity can be attained only in perfect Krsna consciousness. 
After hearing these moral instructions from Akrura, Dhrtarastra 
replied, "My dear Akrura, you are very charitable in giving me good 
instructions, but unfortunately I cannot accept them. A person destined 
to die does not utilize the effects of nectar, although it may be 
administered to him. I can understand that your instructions are 
valuable. Unfortunately, they do not stay in my flickering mind, just as 
the glittering lightning in the sky does not stay fixed in a cloud. I can 
understand only that no one can stop the onward progress of the 
supreme will. I understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
Krsna, has appeared in the family of the Yadus to decrease the 
burdensome load on this earth." 
Dhrtarastra hinted to Akrura that he had complete faith in Krsna, the 



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Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the same time, he was very partial 
to his family members. In the very near future, Krsna would vanquish all 
the members of his family, and in a helpless condition Dhrtarastra would 
take shelter of Krsna's lotus feet. To show His special favor to a devotee, 
Krsna usually takes away all the objects of his material affection, thus 
forcing the devotee to be materially helpless, with no alternative but to 
accept the lotus feet of Krsna. This actually happened to Dhrtarastra 
after the end of the Battle of Kuruksetra. 

Dhrtarastra could realize two opposing factors acting before him. He 
could understand that Krsna was there to remove all the unnecessary 
burdens of the world. His sons were an unnecessary burden, and so he 
expected that they would be killed. At the same time, he could not rid 
himself of his unlawful affection for his sons. Understanding these two 
contradictory factors, he offered his respectful obeisances to the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead. "The contradictory ways of material 
existence are very difficult to understand; they can be taken only as the 
inconceivable execution of the plan of the Supreme, who by His 
inconceivable energy creates this material world and enters into it and 
sets into motion the three modes of nature. When everything is created, 
He enters into each and every living entity and into the smallest atom. 
No one can understand the incalculable plans of the Supreme Lord." 
After hearing this statement, Akrura could clearly understand that 
Dhrtarastra was not going to change his policy of discriminating against 
the Pandavas in favor of his sons. He at once took leave of his friends in 
Hastinapura and returned to his home in the kingdom of the Yadus. 
After returning home, he vividly informed Lord Krsna and Balarama of 
the actual situation in Hastinapura and the intentions of Dhrtarastra. 
Akrura was sent to Hastinapura by Krsna to study these, and by the 
grace of the Lord he was successful. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-ninth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Ill-motivated Dhrtarastra." 



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CHAPTER FIFTY 
Krsna Erects the Dvaraka Fort 

Upon Kamsa's death, his two wives became widows. According to Vedic 
civilization, a woman is never independent. She has three stages of life: 
in childhood a woman should live under the protection of her father, a 
youthful woman should live under the protection of her young husband, 
and in the event of the death of her husband she should live under the 
protection of her grown-up sons, or if she has no grown-up sons she must 
go back to her father and live as a widow under his protection. It appears 
that Karhsa had no grown-up sons. Therefore, after his wives became 
widows they returned to the shelter of their father. Karhsa had two 
queens, Asti and Prapti, and both happened to be the daughters of King 
Jarasandha, the lord of the Bihar province (known in those days as 
Magadha). After reaching home, the two queens explained their 
awkward position following Kamsa's death. The King of Magadha, 
Jarasandha, was mortified on hearing of the pitiable condition of his 
daughters. When informed of the death of Karhsa, Jarasandha decided 
on the spot that he would rid the world of all the members of the Yadu 
dynasty. He decided that since Krsna had killed Karhsa, the whole 
dynasty of the Yadus should be killed. 

He began to make extensive arrangements to attack the kingdom of 
Mathura with his innumerable military phalanxes, consisting of many 
thousands of chariots, horses, elephants and infantry soldiers. 
Jarasandha prepared thirteen such military phalanxes to retaliate the 
death of Karhsa. Taking with him all his military strength, he attacked 
the capital of the Yadu kings, Mathura, surrounding it from all 
directions. Sri Krsna, who appeared like an ordinary human being, saw 
the immense strength of Jarasandha, which appeared like an ocean 
about to cover a beach at any moment. He also perceived that the 
inhabitants of Mathura were overwhelmed with fear. He began to think 
within Himself about His mission as an incarnation and how to tackle 
the present situation before Him. He thought that since He was not 
going to conquer the kingdom of Magadha, to kill the King of Magadha, 
namely Jarasandha, was useless. His mission was to diminish the 



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overburdening population of the whole world; therefore He took the 
opportunity to face so many men, chariots, elephants and horses. The 
military strength of Jarasandha had appeared before Him, and He 
decided to kill the entire force of Jarasandha so that he would go back 
and reorganize his military strength. 

While Lord Krsna was thinking in that way, two beautiful chariots, fully 
equipped with drivers, weapons, flags and other paraphernalia, arrived 
for Him from outer space. Krsna saw the two chariots present before 
Him and immediately addressed His elder brother, Balarama, who is also 
known as Sankarsana: "My dear elder brother, best among the Aryans, 
You are the Lord of the universe, and, specifically, You are the protector 
of the Yadu dynasty. The members of the Yadu dynasty sense great 
danger before the soldiers of Jarasandha, and they are very much 
aggrieved. Just to give them protection, Your chariot is also here, filled 
with weapons. I request You to sit on Your chariot and kill all these 
soldiers, the entire military strength of the enemy. The two of Us have 
descended on this earth just to annihilate such unnecessary bellicose 
forces and give protection to the pious devotees. So we have the 
opportunity to fulfill Our mission. Please let Us execute it." Thus Krsna 
and Balarama, the descendants of Dasarha, decided to annihilate the 
thirteen military companies of Jarasandha. 

After equipping Themselves with military dress, Krsna and Balarama 
mounted Their chariots. Krsna rode the chariot on which Daruka was 
the driver. With a small army They came out of the city of Mathura, 
blowing Their respective conchshells. Curiously enough, although the 
other party was equipped with greater military strength, when they 
heard the vibration of Krsna's conchshell their hearts were shaken. 
When Jarasandha saw Balarama and Krsna, he was a little bit 
compassionate because They happened to be related to him as 
grandsons. He specifically addressed Krsna as purusddhama, meaning 
"the lowest among men." Actually Krsna is known in all Vedic scriptures 
as Purusottama, the highest among men. Jarasandha had no intention of 
addressing Krsna as Purusottama, but great scholars have determined the 
true meaning of the word purusddhama to be "one who makes all other 
personalities go downward." Actually no one can be equal to or greater 
than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 



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Jarasandha said, "It will be a great dishonor for me to fight with boys like 
Krsna and Balarama." Because Krsna had killed Karhsa, Jarasandha 
specifically addressed Him as the killer of His own relatives. Karhsa had 
killed many of his own nephews, yet Jarasandha did not take notice of it; 
but because Krsna had killed His maternal uncle, Karhsa, Jarasandha 
tried to criticize Him. That is the way of demoniac dealings. Demons do 
not try to find their own faults or those of their friends, but try to find 
the faults of their enemies. Jarasandha also criticized Krsna for not even 
being a ksatriya. Because He was raised by Maharaja Nanda, Krsna was 
not a ksatriya but a vaisya. Vaisyas are generally called guptas, and the 
word gupta can also be used to mean "hidden." So Krsna was both 
hidden and raised by Nanda Maharaja. Jarasandha accused Krsna of 
three faults: that He killed His own maternal uncle, that He was hidden 
in His childhood, and that He was not even a ksatriya. And therefore 
Jarasandha felt ashamed to fight with Him. 

Next he turned toward Balarama and addressed Him: "You, Balarama! If 
You like You can fight along with Him, and if You have patience, then 
You can wait to be killed by my arrows. Thus You can be promoted to 
heaven." It is stated in the Bhagavad-gita that a ksatriya can benefit in 
either of two ways while fighting. If a ksatriya gains victory in the fight, 
he enjoys the results of victory, but even if killed he is promoted to the 
heavenly kingdom. 

After hearing Jarasandha speak in that way, Krsna answered, "My dear 
King Jarasandha, heroes do not talk much. Rather, they show their 
prowess. Because you are talking a great deal, it appears that you are 
assured of your death in this battle. We do not care to hear you any 
longer, for it is useless to hear the words of a person who is going to die 
or one who is very distressed." To fight with Krsna, Jarasandha 
surrounded Him from all sides with great military strength. As the sun 
appears covered by cloudy air and dust, Krsna, the supreme sun, was 
covered by the military strength of Jarasandha. Krsna's and Balarama's 
chariots were marked with pictures of Garuda and palm trees. The 
women of Mathura all stood on the tops of the houses, palaces and gates 
to see the wonderful fight, but when Krsna's chariot was surrounded by 
Jarasandha's military force and was no longer visible to them, they were 
so frightened that some of them fainted. Krsna saw Himself 



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overwhelmed by the military strength of Jarasandha. His small army of 
soldiers was being harassed, so He immediately took up His bow, named 
Sarriga. 

He took His arrows from their quiver, and one after another He set 
them on the bowstring and shot them toward the enemy. They were so 
accurate that the elephants, horses and infantry soldiers of Jarasandha 
were quickly killed. The incessant arrows shot by Krsna appeared like a 
whirlwind of blazing fire killing all the military strength of Jarasandha. 
As Krsna released His arrows, all the elephants gradually began to fall, 
their heads severed by the arrows. Similarly, all the horses fell, their 
necks severed, and the chariots fell also, along with their flags and the 
fighters and drivers on the chariots. Almost all the infantry soldiers fell 
on the field of battle, their heads, hands and legs cut off. In this way, 
many thousands of elephants, horses and men were killed, and their 
blood flowed just like the waves of a river. In that river, the severed arms 
of men appeared like snakes and their heads like tortoises. The dead 
bodies of the elephants appeared like small islands, and the dead horses 
appeared like sharks. By the arrangement of the supreme will, there was 
a great river of blood filled with paraphernalia. The hands and legs of 
the infantry soldiers floated just like different kinds of fish, the hair of 
the soldiers floated like seaweed and moss, and the floating bows of the 
soldiers resembled waves of the river. And all the jewelry from the 
bodies of the soldiers and commanders seemed like many pebbles flowing 
down the river of blood. 

Lord Balarama, who is also known as Sarikarsana, began to fight with 
His club in such a heroic way that the river of blood created by Krsna 
overflooded. Cowards became very much afraid upon seeing the ghastly 
and horrible scene, and heroes began to talk delightedly among 
themselves about the heroism of the two brothers. Although Jarasandha 
was equipped with a vast ocean of military strength, the fighting of Lord 
Krsna and Balarama converted the whole situation into a ghastly scene 
far beyond ordinary fighting. Persons of ordinary merit cannot estimate 
how it could be possible, but when such activities are accepted as 
pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, under whose will 
everything is possible, then this can be understood. The Supreme 
Personality of Godhead creates, maintains and dissolves the cosmic 



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manifestation merely by His will. For Him to create such a vast scene of 
devastation while fighting with an enemy is not so wonderful. And yet, 
because Krsna and Balarama were fighting with Jarasandha just like 
ordinary human beings, the affair appeared wonderful. 
When all the soldiers of Jarasandha had been killed and he was the only 
one left alive, certainly he was very much depressed. Sri Balarama 
immediately arrested him, just as, with great strength, one lion captures 
another. But while Lord Balarama was binding Jarasandha with the rope 
of Varuna and ordinary ropes also, Lord Krsna, with a greater plan in 
mind for the future, asked Lord Balarama not to arrest him. Krsna then 
released Jarasandha. As a great fighting hero, Jarasandha was ashamed, 
and he decided that he would no longer live as a king but would resign 
from his position in the royal order and go to the forest to practice 
meditation under severe austerities and penances. 
As he was returning home with other royal friends, however, they 
advised him not to retire but to regain strength to fight again with Krsna 
in the near future. The princely friends of Jarasandha instructed him 
that ordinarily it would not have been possible for him to be defeated by 
the strength of the Yadu kings; the defeat he had experienced was 
simply due to his ill luck. The princely order encouraged King 
Jarasandha. His fighting, they said, was certainly heroic; therefore, he 
should not take his defeat very seriously, since it was due only to his past 
misdeeds. After all, there was no fault in his fighting. 
In this way, Jarasandha, the King of Magadha province, having lost all 
his strength and having been insulted by his arrest and subsequent 
release, could do nothing but return to his kingdom. Thus Lord Krsna 
conquered the soldiers of Jarasandha. Although Krsna's army was tiny in 
comparison to Jarasandha's, not a pinch of His strength was lost, 
whereas all of Jarasandha's men were killed. 

The denizens of heaven were very much pleased, and they offered their 
respects by chanting in glorification of the Lord and showering Him 
with flowers, accepting the victory with great appreciation. Jarasandha 
returned to his kingdom, and Mathura City was saved from the danger 
of imminent attack. The citizens of Mathura organized the combined 
services of professional singers like sutas and mdgadhas, along with poets 
who could compose nice songs, and they began to chant the victory 



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glorification of Lord Krsna. When Lord Krsna entered the city after the 
victory, many bugles, conches and kettledrums sounded, and the 
vibrations of various musical instruments like bherls, turyas, vlnas, flutes 
and mrdangas all joined together to make a beautiful reception. While 
Krsna was entering, the whole city was cleansed, all the different streets 
and roads were sprinkled with water, and the inhabitants, being joyous, 
decorated their respective houses and shops with flags and festoons. The 
brahmanas chanted Vedic mantras at numerous places. The people 
constructed road crossings and gates at entrances to lanes and streets. 
When Lord Krsna was entering the nicely decorated city of Mathura in 
a festive attitude, the ladies and girls of Mathura prepared different 
kinds of flower garlands to make the ceremony most auspicious. In 
accordance with the Vedic custom, they took yogurt mixed with fresh 
green grass and strewed it here and there to make the victory jubilation 
even more auspicious. As Krsna passed through the street, all the ladies 
and women regarded Him with eyes bright with great affection. Krsna 
and Balarama carried various kinds of ornaments, jewels and other booty 
carefully collected from the battlefield and presented them to King 
Ugrasena. Krsna thus offered His respect to His grandfather because 
Ugrasena was at that time the crowned king of the Yadu dynasty. 
Jarasandha, the King of Magadha, besieged the city of Mathura not only 
once but seventeen times in the same way, equipped with the same 
number of military phalanxes. Each and every time, he was defeated and 
all his soldiers were killed by Krsna, and each time he had to return 
home disappointed. Each time, the princely order of the Yadu dynasty 
arrested Jarasandha in the same way and again released him in an 
insulting manner, and each time Jarasandha shamelessly returned home. 
While Jarasandha was attempting his eighteenth attack, a Yavana king 
somewhere to the south of Mathura became attracted by the opulence of 
the Yadu dynasty and also attacked the city. It is said that the King of 
the Yavanas, known as Kalayavana, was induced to attack by Narada. 
This story is narrated in the Visnu Purana. Once, Garga Muni, the priest 
of the Yadu dynasty, was taunted by his brother-in-law. When the kings 
of the Yadu dynasty heard the taunt they laughed at him, and Garga 
Muni became angry at the Yadu kings. He decided that he would 
produce someone who would be very fearful to the Yadu dynasty, so he 



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pleased Lord Siva and received from him the benediction of a son. He 
begot this son, Kalayavana, in the wife of a Yavana king. This 
Kalayavana inquired from Narada, "Who are the most powerful kings in 
the world?" Narada informed him that the Yadus were the most 
powerful. Thus informed, Kalayavana attacked the city of Mathura at 
the same time that Jarasandha tried to attack it for the eighteenth time. 
Kalayavana was very eager to declare war on a king of the world who 
would be a suitable combatant for him, but he had not found any. 
However, being informed about Mathura by Narada, he thought it wise 
to attack this city with thirty million Yavana soldiers. 
When Mathura was thus besieged, Lord Sri Krsna began to consider, in 
consultation with Baladeva, how much the Yadu dynasty was in distress, 
being threatened by the attacks of two formidable enemies, Jarasandha 
and Kalayavana. Time was growing short. Kalayavana was already 
besieging Mathura from all sides, and it was expected that the day after 
next, Jarasandha would also come, equipped with the same number of 
divisions of soldiers as in his previous seventeen attempts. Krsna was 
certain that Jarasandha would take advantage of the opportunity to 
capture Mathura when it was also being besieged by Kalayavana. He 
therefore thought it wise to take precautionary measures for defending 
against an attack upon Mathura from two strategic points. If both Krsna 
and Balarama were engaged in fighting with Kalayavana at one place, 
Jarasandha might come at another to attack the whole Yadu family and 
take his revenge. Jarasandha was very powerful, and having been 
defeated seventeen times, he might vengefully kill the members of the 
Yadu family or arrest them and take them to his kingdom. Krsna 
therefore decided to construct a formidable fort where no two-legged 
animal, either man or demon, could enter. He decided to keep His 
relatives there so that He would then be free to fight the enemy. It 
appears that formerly Dvaraka was also part of the kingdom of Mathura. 
In Srlmad-Bhdgavatam it is stated that Krsna constructed the fort in the 
midst of the sea. Remnants of the fort Krsna constructed still exist in 
the Bay of Dvaraka. 

Krsna first of all constructed a very strong wall covering ninety-six 
square miles, and the wall itself was within the sea. It was certainly 
wonderful and was planned and constructed by Visvakarma. No 



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115 



ordinary architect could construct such a fort within the sea, but an 
architect like Visvakarma, who is considered to be the engineer among 
the demigods, can execute such wonderful craftsmanship anywhere in 
the universe. If huge planets can float in weightlessness in outer space by 
the arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, surely the 
architectural construction of a fort covering ninety-six square miles 
within the sea was not very wonderful. 

It is stated in Srlmad-Bhdgavatam that this new, well-constructed city, 
developed within the sea, had regular planned roads, streets and lanes. 
There were also well-planned parks and gardens filled with plants 
known as kalpa-vrksas, or desire trees. These desire trees are not like the 
ordinary trees of the material world; the desire trees are found in the 
spiritual world. By Krsna's supreme will, everything is possible, so such 
desire trees were planted in Dvaraka, the city constructed by Krsna. The 
city was also filled with many palaces and gopuras, or big gates. These 
gopuras are still found in some of the larger temples. They are very high 
and constructed with fine artistic skill. Such palaces and gates held 
golden waterpots (kalasa). These waterpots on the gates or on the 
palaces are considered auspicious signs. 

Almost all the palaces were skyscrapers. In each and every house there 
were underground rooms containing big golden and silver pots for 
stocking grain. And there were many golden waterpots within the 
rooms. The bedrooms were all bedecked with jewels, and the floors were 
mosaic pavements of marakata jewels. The Visnu Deity, worshiped by 
the descendants of Yadu, was installed in each house in the city. The 
residential quarters were so arranged that the different castes — 
brdhmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras — had their respective quarters. 
It appears from this that the caste system mentioned in the Bhagavad- 
gltd existed even at that time. In the center of the city was a residence 
made specifically for King Ugrasena. This was the most dazzling of all 
the houses. 

When the demigod Indra saw that Krsna was constructing a particular 
city of His own choice, he sent the celebrated pdrijdta tree of the 
heavenly planets to be planted in the new city, and he also sent a 
parliamentary house, Sudharma. The specific quality of this assembly 
house was that anyone participating in a meeting within it would 



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overcome the influence of invalidity due to old age. The demigod 
Varuna presented a horse, which was all white except for black ears and 
which could run at the speed of the mind. Kuvera, the treasurer of the 
demigods, presented the art of attaining the eight perfectional stages of 
material opulence. In this way, all the demigods began to present their 
respective gifts according to their different capacities. There are thirty- 
three million demigods, each entrusted with a particular department of 
universal management. All the demigods took the opportunity of the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead's constructing a city of His own choice 
to present their respective gifts, making the city of Dvaraka unique 
within the universe. This proves that while there are undoubtedly 
innumerable demigods, none of them is independent of Krsna. As stated 
in the Caitanya-caritamrta, Krsna is the supreme master, and all others 
are His servants. So all the servants took the opportunity to render 
service to Krsna when He was personally present within this universe. 
This example should be followed by all, especially those who are Krsna 
conscious, for they should serve Krsna by their respective abilities. 
When the new city was fully constructed according to plan, Krsna 
transferred all the inhabitants of Mathura and installed Sri Balarama as 
the city father. After this He consulted with Balarama, and, being 
garlanded with lotus flowers but carrying no weapons, He came out of 
the city to meet Kalayavana, who had already surrounded Mathura. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fiftieth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Krsna Erects the Dvaraka Fort." 



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CHAPTER FIFTY-ONE 
The Deliverance of Mucukunda 

When Krsna came out of the city, Kalayavana, who had never seen 
Krsna before, saw Him to be extraordinarily beautiful, dressed in yellow 
garments. Passing through Kalayavana's assembly of soldiers, Krsna 
appeared like the moon in the sky passing through the assembled clouds. 
Kalayavana was fortunate enough to see the lines of Srivatsa, a 
particular impression on the chest of Sri Krsna, and the Kaustubha jewel 
He was wearing. Kalayavana saw Him, however, in His Visnu form, with 
a well-built body, four hands, and eyes like the petals of a newly 
blooming lotus. Krsna appeared blissful, with a handsome forehead and 
beautiful smiling face, restless eyebrows and moving earrings. Before 
seeing Krsna, Kalayavana had heard about Him from Narada, and now 
the descriptions of Narada were confirmed. Kalayavana noticed Krsna's 
specific marks and the jewels on His chest, His beautiful garland of lotus 
flowers, His lotuslike eyes and similar beautiful bodily features. He 
concluded that this beautiful personality must be Vasudeva, for every 
description he had previously heard from Narada was substantiated by 
the presence of Krsna. Kalayavana was astonished to see Krsna passing 
through his army without any weapon in His hands and without any 
chariot. He was simply walking on foot. Kalayavana had come to fight 
with Krsna, and yet he had sufficient principles not to take up any kind 
of weapon. He decided to fight with Him hand to hand. Thus he 
prepared to capture Krsna and fight. 

Krsna, however, went ahead without looking at Kalayavana. Kalayavana 
followed Him with a desire to capture Him, but in spite of his swift 
running, he could not capture Krsna. Krsna cannot be captured even by 
great yogis traveling at the speed of the mind. He can be captured only 
by those who follow the path of devotional service, and Kalayavana was 
not practiced in devotional service. He wanted to capture Krsna, and 
since he could not do so he followed Him from behind. 
Kalayavana began running very fast, thinking, "Now I am nearer; I will 
capture Him," but he could not. Krsna led him far away and entered the 
cave of a hill. Kalayavana thought that Krsna was trying to avoid 



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fighting him and was therefore taking shelter of the cave. He rebuked 
Him with the following words: "O Krsna! I heard that You are a great 
hero born in the dynasty of Yadu, but I see that You are running away 
from fighting, like a coward. It is not worthy of Your good name and 
family tradition." Kalayavana was following, running very fast, but still 
he could not catch Krsna because he was not freed from all 
contaminations of sinful life. 

According to Vedic culture, anyone who does not follow the regulative 
principles observed by the higher castes (the brdhmanas, ksatriyas and 
vaisyas) or even those observed by the laborer class (the sudras) is called 
a mleccha or yavana. The Vedic social situation is so planned that 
persons accepted as sudras can gradually be elevated to the position of 
brdhmanas by the cultural advancement known as samskdra, or the 
purificatory process. The verdict of the Vedic scriptures is that no one 
becomes a brdhmana or a mleccha simply by birth; by birth everyone is 
accepted as a sudra. One has to elevate himself by the purificatory 
process to the stage of brahminical life. If he doesn't, if he degrades 
himself further, he is then called a mleccha or yavana. Kalayavana 
belonged to the class of mlecchas and yavanas. Contaminated by sinful 
activities, he could not approach Krsna. The principles from which 
higher-class men are restricted, namely illicit sexual indulgence, meat- 
eating, gambling and intoxication, are an integral part of the lives of the 
mlecchas and yavanas. Being bound by such sinful activities, one cannot 
make any advancement in God realization. The Bhagavad-gltd confirms 
that only one completely freed from all sinful reactions can engage in 
devotional service, or Krsna consciousness. 
When Krsna entered the cave of the hill, Kalayavana followed, 
chastising Him with various harsh words. Krsna suddenly disappeared 
from the demon's sight, but Kalayavana followed and also entered the 
cave. The first thing he saw was a man lying down asleep within the 
cave. Kalayavana was eager to fight with Krsna, and when he could not 
see Krsna but instead saw only a man lying down, he thought that Krsna 
was sleeping within this cave. Kalayavana was very much puffed up and 
proud of his strength, and he thought Krsna was avoiding the fight. 
Therefore, he strongly kicked the sleeping man, thinking him to be 
Krsna. The sleeping man had been lying down for a very long time. 



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When awakened by the kicking of Kalayavana, he immediately opened 
his eyes and began to look around in all directions. At last he saw 
Kalayavana standing nearby. This man was untimely awakened and 
therefore very angry, and when he looked upon Kalayavana in his angry 
mood, rays of fire emanated from his eyes, and Kalayavana burned to 
ashes within a moment. 

When Maharaja Pariksit heard this incident of Kalayavana's being 
burned to ashes, he inquired about the sleeping man from Sukadeva 
GosvamI: "Who was he? Why was he sleeping there? How had he 
achieved so much power that instantly, by his glance, Kalayavana was 
burned to ashes? How did he happen to be lying down in the cave of the 
hill?" He put many questions before Sukadeva GosvamI, and Sukadeva 
answered as follows. 

"My dear King, this person was born in the very great family of King 
Iksvaku, in which Lord Ramacandra was also born, and he happened to 
be the son of a great king known as Mandhata. He himself was also a 
great soul and was known popularly as Mucukunda. King Mucukunda 
was a strict follower of the Vedic principles of brahminical culture, and 
he was truthful to his promise. He was so powerful that even demigods 
like Indra used to ask him to help in fighting the demons, and as such he 
often fought against the demons to protect the demigods." 
The commander in chief of the demigods, known as Karttikeya, was 
satisfied with the fighting of King Mucukunda, but once he asked that 
the King, having taken too much trouble in fighting the demons, retire 
from fighting and take rest. Karttikeya addressed King Mucukunda, "My 
dear King, you have sacrificed everything for the sake of the demigods. 
You had a very nice kingdom, undisturbed by any kind of enemy. But 
you left that kingdom, neglected your opulence and possessions, and 
never cared for fulfillment of your personal ambitions. Due to your long 
absence from your kingdom while fighting the demons on behalf of the 
demigods, your queen, your children, your relatives and your ministers 
have all passed away in due course of time. Time and tide wait for no 
man. Now even if you return to your home, you will find no one living 
there. The influence of time is very strong. Time is so powerful because 
it is a representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; time is 
therefore stronger than the strongest. The influence of time can effect 



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changes in subtle things without difficulty. No one can check the 
process of time. As an animal tamer tames animals according to his will, 
time also adjusts things according to its own will. No one can supersede 
the arrangement made by supreme time." 

Thus addressing Mucukunda, the demigod requested him to ask any 
benediction he might be pleased with, except the benediction of 
liberation. Liberation cannot be awarded by any living entity but the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu. Therefore another name of 
Lord Visnu or Krsna is Mukunda, "He who can award liberation." 
King Mucukunda had not slept for many, many years. He was engaged in 
the duty of fighting, and therefore he was very tired. So when the 
demigod offered a benediction, Mucukunda simply thought of sleeping. 
He replied as follows: "My dear Karttikeya, best of the demigods, I want 
to sleep now, and I want from you the following benediction. Grant me 
the power to burn to ashes, by my mere glance, anyone who disturbs my 
sleeping and awakens me untimely. Please give me this benediction." 
The demigod agreed and also gave him the benediction that he would be 
able to take complete rest. Then King Mucukunda entered the cave of 
the mountain. 

On the strength of the benediction of Karttikeya, Mucukunda burned 
Kalayavana to ashes simply by glancing at him. When the incident was 
over, Krsna came before King Mucukunda. Krsna had actually entered 
the cave to deliver King Mucukunda for his austerity, but Krsna did not 
appear before him first. He arranged that first Kalayavana should come 
before him. That is the way of the activities of the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead: He does one thing in such a way that many other purposes 
are served. He wanted to deliver King Mucukunda, who was sleeping in 
the cave, and at the same time He wanted to kill Kalayavana, who had 
attacked Mathura City. By this action He served all purposes. 
When Lord Krsna appeared before Mucukunda, the King saw Him 
dressed in a yellow garment, His chest marked with the symbol of 
Srivatsa, and the Kaustubha-mani jewel hanging around His neck. Krsna 
appeared before him with four hands, as visnu-murti, with a garland 
called Vaijayanti hanging from His neck down to His knees. He looked 
lustrous, His face was beautifully smiling, and He had nice jeweled 
earrings in His ears. Krsna appeared more beautiful than a human can 



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121 



conceive. Not only did He appear in this feature, but He glanced over 
Mucukunda with great affection, attracting the King's mind. Although 
He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the oldest of all, He looked 
like a fresh young boy, and His movements were just like those of a free 
deer. Still, He appeared extremely powerful; His influence and vast 
power are so great that every human being should be afraid of Him. 
When King Mucukunda saw Krsna's magnificent features, he wondered 
about His identity, and with great humility he asked the Lord, "My dear 
Lord, may I inquire how it is that You happened to be in the cave of this 
mountain? Who are You? I can see that Your feet are just like soft lotus 
flowers. How could You walk in this forest full of thorns and pebbles? I 
am simply surprised to see this! Are You not, therefore, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, the most powerful amongst the powerful? Are 
You not the original source of all illumination and fire? Can I consider 
You one of the great demigods, like the sun-god, the moon-god or Indra, 
King of heaven? Or are You the predominating deity of some other 
planet?" 

Mucukunda knew well that every higher planetary system has a 
predominating deity. He was not ignorant like modern men who think 
that this planet earth is full of living entities and all others are vacant. 
The inquiry from Mucukunda about Krsna's being the predominating 
deity of a planet unknown to him is quite appropriate. Because he was a 
pure devotee of the Lord, King Mucukunda could immediately 
understand that Lord Krsna, who had appeared before him in such an 
opulent feature, could not be one of the predominating deities in the 
material planets. He must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
Krsna, who has many Visnu forms. Mucukunda therefore took Him to be 
Purusottama, Lord Visnu. He could see also that the dense darkness 
within the mountain cave had been dissipated by the Lord's presence; 
therefore He could not be other than the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead. Mucukunda knew very well that wherever the Lord is 
personally present by His transcendental name, qualities, form and so 
on, there cannot be any darkness of ignorance. He is like a lamp placed 
in the darkness; He immediately illuminates a dark place. 
King Mucukunda was eager to know the identity of Lord Krsna, and 
therefore he said, "O best of human beings, if You think I am fit to know 



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Your identity, kindly tell me who You are. What is Your parentage? 
What is Your occupational duty, and what is Your family tradition?" 
King Mucukunda thought it wise, however, to identify himself to the 
Lord first; otherwise he had no right to ask the Lord's identity. Etiquette 
is such that a person of less importance cannot ask the identity of a 
person of higher importance without first disclosing his own identity. 
King Mucukunda therefore told Lord Krsna, "My dear Lord, let me first 
inform You of my identity. I belong to the most celebrated dynasty of 
King Iksvaku, but personally I am not as great as my forefather. My 
name is Mucukunda. My father's name was Mandhata, and my 
grandfather was the great king Yuvanasva. I was very much fatigued due 
to not resting for many thousands of years, and because of this all my 
bodily limbs were slack and almost incapable of acting. To revive my 
energy, I was taking rest in this solitary cave, but I have been awakened 
by some unknown man who has forced me to wake up although I was not 
willing to do so. For such an offensive act, I have burned this person to 
ashes simply by glancing over him. Fortunately, now I can see You in 
this grand and beautiful feature. I think, therefore, that You are the 
cause of my killing my enemy. My dear Lord, I must admit that due to 
Your bodily effulgence, unbearable to my eyes, I cannot see You 
properly. I can fully realize that the influence of Your effulgence has 
diminished my power. I can understand that You are quite fit for being 
worshiped by all living entities." 

Seeing King Mucukunda eager to know about His identity, Lord Krsna 
answered smilingly as follows: "My dear King, it is practically impossible 
to tell about My birth, appearance, disappearance and activities. Perhaps 
you know that My incarnation Anantadeva has unlimited mouths, and 
for an unlimited time He has been trying to narrate fully about My 
name, fame, qualities, activities, appearance, disappearance and 
incarnations, but still He has not been able to finish. Therefore, it is not 
possible to know exactly how many names and forms I possess. It may be 
possible for a material scientist to estimate the number of atomic 
particles which make up this earthly planet, but the scientist cannot 
enumerate My unlimited names, forms and activities. Many great sages 
and saintly persons have tried to list My different forms and activities, 
yet they have failed to make a complete list. But since you are so eager to 



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123 



know about Me, I may inform you that I have now appeared on this 
planet just to annihilate the demoniac principles of the people in 
general and reestablish the religious principles enjoined in the Vedas. I 
have been invited for this purpose by Brahma, the superintending deity 
of this universe, and thus I have now appeared in the dynasty of the 
Yadus as one of their family members. I have specifically taken My birth 
as the son of Vasudeva in the Yadu dynasty, and people therefore know 
Me as Vasudeva, the son of Vasudeva. You may also know that I have 
killed Kamsa, who in a previous life was known as Kalanemi, as well as 
Pralambasura and many other demons. They have acted as My enemies, 
and I have killed them. The demon who was present before you also 
acted as My enemy, and you have very kindly burned him to ashes by 
glancing over him. My dear King Mucukunda, you are My great devotee, 
and just to show you My causeless mercy I have appeared in this cave. I 
am very affectionately inclined toward My devotees, and in your 
previous life, before your present condition, you acted as My great 
devotee and prayed for My causeless mercy. I have therefore come to see 
you to fulfill your desire. Now you can see Me to your heart's content. 
My dear King, now you may ask from Me any benediction you wish, and 
I am prepared to fulfill your desire. It is My eternal principle that anyone 
who comes under My shelter must have all his desires fulfilled by My 
grace." 

When Lord Krsna ordered King Mucukunda to ask a benediction from 
Him, the King was joyful, and he immediately remembered the 
prediction of Garga Muni, who had foretold long before that in the 
twenty-eighth millennium of Vaivasvata Manu, Lord Krsna would 
appear on this planet. As soon as he remembered this prediction, he 
understood that the Supreme Person, Narayana, was present before Him 
as Lord Krsna. He immediately fell down at His lotus feet and began to 
pray as follows. 

"My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I can understand 
that all living entities on this planet are illusioned by Your external 
energy and enamored of the illusory satisfaction of sense gratification. 
Being fully engaged in illusory activities, they are reluctant to worship 
Your lotus feet, and because they are unaware of the benefits of 
surrendering unto Your lotus feet, they are subjected to various 



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miserable conditions of material existence. They are foolishly attached 
to so-called society, friendship and love, which merely produce different 
kinds of miseries. Illusioned by Your external energy, everyone, whether 
man or woman, is attached to this material existence, and all are 
engaged in cheating one another in a great society of the cheaters and 
the cheated. These foolish persons, not knowing how fortunate they are 
to have obtained this human form of life, are reluctant to worship Your 
lotus feet. By the influence of Your external energy, they are attached to 
the glare of material activities, to so-called society, friendship and love, 
like dumb animals that have fallen into a dark well." The example of a 
dark well is given because in the fields there are many wells, unused for 
years and covered over by grass, and poor animals, not knowing of them, 
fall into them, and unless rescued they die. Being captivated by a few 
blades of grass, the animals fall into a dark well and meet death. 
Similarly, foolish persons, without knowing the importance of the 
human form of life, spoil it simply for sense gratification and die without 
any useful purpose. 

"My dear Lord, I am not an exception to this universal law of material 
nature. I am also a foolish person who has wasted his time for nothing. 
And my position is especially difficult. On account of my being situated 
in the royal order, I was more puffed up than ordinary persons. An 
ordinary man thinks he is the proprietor of his body or his family, but I 
began to think in that way on a larger scale. I wanted to be the master of 
the whole world, and as I became puffed up with ideas of sense 
gratification, my bodily concept of life became stronger and stronger. My 
attachment for home, wife and children, for money and supremacy over 
the world, became more and more acute; in fact, it was limitless. So I 
remained always attached to thoughts of my material living conditions. 
"Therefore, my dear Lord, I wasted so much of my valuable lifetime with 
no benefit. As my misconception of life intensified, I began to think of 
this material body, which is just a bag of flesh and bones, as the all in all, 
and in my vanity I believed I had become the king of human society. In 
this misconception of bodily life I traveled all over the world, 
accompanied by my military strength — soldiers, charioteers, elephants 
and horses. Assisted by many commanders and puffed up by power, I 
could not trace out Your Lordship, who always sit within my heart as the 



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125 



most intimate friend. I did not care for You, and this was the fault of my 
so-called exalted material condition. I think that, like me, all living 
creatures are careless about spiritual realization and are always full of 
anxieties, thinking, "What is to be done? What is next?' But because we 
are strongly bound by material desires, we continue to remain in 
craziness. 

"Yet in spite of our being so absorbed in material thought, inevitable 
time, which is only a form of Yourself, is always careful about its duty, 
and as soon as the allotted time is over, Your Lordship immediately ends 
all the activities of our material dreams. As the time factor, You end all 
our activities, as a hungry black snake swiftly swallows up a small rat 
without leniency. Due to the action of cruel time, the royal body which 
was always decorated with gold ornaments during life and which moved 
on a chariot drawn by beautiful horses or on the back of an elephant 
nicely decorated with golden ornaments, and which was advertised as 
the king of human society — that same royal body decomposes under the 
influence of inevitable time and becomes fit for being eaten by worms 
and insects or being turned into ashes or the stool of an animal. This 
beautiful body may be recognized as a royal body while in the living 
condition, but after death the body of even a king is eaten by an animal 
and therefore turned into stool or is cremated in a crematorium and 
turned into ashes or is put into an earthly grave, where different kinds 
of worms and insects are produced of it. 

"My dear Lord, we come under the full control of this inevitable time 
not only after death but also, in a different way, while living. For 
example, I may be a powerful king, and yet when I come home after 
conquering the world I become subjected to many material conditions. 
When I come back victorious, all subordinate kings may come and offer 
their respects, but as soon as I enter the inner section of my palace, I 
myself become an instrument in the hands of the queens, and for sense 
gratification I have to fall down at the feet of women. The material way 
of life is so complicated that before taking the enjoyment of material life 
one has to work so hard that there is scarcely an opportunity for 
peacefully enjoying. And to attain all material facilities one has to 
undergo severe austerities and penances and be elevated to the heavenly 
planets. If one gets the opportunity to take birth in a very rich or royal 



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126 



family, even then he is always anxious to maintain the status quo and 
prepare for the next life by performing various sacrifices and 
distributing charity. Even in royal life one is full of anxieties, not only 
because of political administration but also in regard to being elevated to 
the heavenly planets. 

"It is therefore very difficult to get out of material entanglement, but if 
one is somehow or other favored by You, by Your mercy alone he is 
given the opportunity to associate with a pure devotee. That is the 
beginning of liberation from the entanglement of material, conditioned 
life. My dear Lord, only by the association of pure devotees is one able to 
approach Your Lordship, who are the controller of both the material and 
spiritual existences. You are the supreme goal of all pure devotees, and 
by association with pure devotees one can develop his dormant love for 
You. Therefore, development of Krsna consciousness in the association 
of pure devotees is the cause of liberation from this material 
entanglement. 

"My dear Lord, You are so merciful that in spite of my being reluctant to 
associate with Your pure devotees, You have shown Your extreme mercy 
upon me as a result of my slight contact with such a pure devotee as 
Garga Muni. By Your causeless mercy only have I lost all my material 
opulences, my kingdom and my family. I do not think I could have 
gotten rid of all these entanglements without Your causeless mercy. 
Kings and emperors sometimes accept the life of an ascetic to forget 
their royal life, but by Your special causeless mercy I have already been 
bereft of royalty. I do not need to become a mendicant or practice 
renunciation. 

"My dear Lord, I therefore pray that I may simply be engaged in 
rendering transcendental loving service unto Your lotus feet. This is the 
ambition of pure devotees, freed from all material contamination. You 
are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and You can offer me 
anything I want, including liberation. But who is such a fool that after 
pleasing You he would ask from You something which might cause 
entanglement in this material world? I do not think any sane man would 
ask such a benediction from You. I therefore surrender unto You because 
You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are the Supersoul 
living in everyone's heart, and You are the impersonal Brahman 



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127 



effulgence. Moreover, You are also this material world, because this 
material world is only the manifestation of Your external energy. 
Therefore, from any angle of vision, You are the supreme shelter for 
everyone. Whether on the material plane or the spiritual plane, 
everyone must take shelter under Your lotus feet. I therefore submit 
unto You, my Lord. 

"For many, many births I have been suffering from the threefold 
miseries of this material existence, and I am now tired of it. I have been 
impelled only by my senses, and I was never satisfied. I therefore take 
shelter of Your lotus feet, which are the source of all peaceful life and 
which can eradicate all lamentation caused by material contamination. 
My dear Lord, You are the Supersoul of everyone, and You can 
understand everything. Now I am free from all contamination of 
material desire. I do not wish to enjoy this material world, nor do I wish 
to take advantage of merging into Your spiritual effulgence, nor do I 
wish to meditate upon Your localized aspect of Paramatma, for I know 
that simply by taking shelter of You, I shall become completely peaceful 
and undisturbed." 

On hearing this statement by King Mucukunda, Lord Krsna replied, "My 
dear King, I am very much pleased with your statement. You have been 
the king of all the lands on this planet, but I am surprised to find that 
your mind is now freed from all material contamination. You are now fit 
to execute devotional service. I am most pleased to see that although I 
offered you the opportunity to ask from Me any kind of benediction, you 
did not take advantage of asking for material benefits. I can understand 
that your mind is now fixed in Me, and it is not disturbed by any 
material quality." 

The material qualities are three, namely goodness, passion and 
ignorance. When one is placed into the mixed material qualities of 
passion and ignorance, various kinds of greed and lusty desires impel one 
to try to find comfort in this material world. When situated in the 
material quality of goodness, one tries to purify himself by performing 
various penances and austerities. When one reaches the platform of a 
real brdhmana, he aspires to merge into the existence of the Lord. But 
when one desires only to render service unto the lotus feet of the Lord, 
he is transcendental to all these three qualities. The pure Krsna 



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conscious person is therefore always free from all material qualities. 
"My dear King," Lord Krsna continued: "I offered to give you any kind of 
benediction just to test how much you have advanced in devotional 
service. Now I can see that you are on the platform of the pure devotees, 
for your mind is not disturbed by any greedy or lusty desires of this 
material world. The yogis who try to elevate themselves by controlling 
the senses and who meditate upon Me by practicing the breathing 
exercise of prdndydma are not so thoroughly freed from material desires. 
It has been seen in several cases that as soon as there is allurement, such 
yogis again come down to the material platform." 
The vivid example verifying this statement is Visvamitra Muni. 
Visvamitra Muni was a great yogi who practiced prdndydma, a breathing 
exercise, but when he was visited by Menaka, a society woman of the 
heavenly planet, he lost all control and begot in her a daughter named 
Sakuntala. But the pure devotee Haridasa Thakura was never disturbed, 
even when all such allurements were offered by a prostitute. 
"My dear King," Lord Krsna continued: "I therefore give you the special 
benediction that you will always think of Me. Thus you will be able to 
traverse this material world freely, without being contaminated by the 
material qualities." This statement by the Lord confirms that a person in 
true Krsna consciousness, engaged in the transcendental loving service 
of the Lord under the direction of the spiritual master, is never subject 
to the contamination of material qualities. 

"My dear King," the Lord said, "because you are a ksatriya, you have 
committed the offense of slaughtering animals, both in hunting and in 
political engagements. To become purified, just engage yourself in the 
practice of bhakti-yoga and always keep your mind absorbed in Me. Very 
soon you will be freed from all reactions to such sordid activities." In this 
statement it appears that although ksatriyas are allowed to kill animals 
in hunting, they are not freed from the resultant contamination of 
sinful reactions. Therefore whether one is a ksatriya, vaisya or brdhmana, 
everyone is recommended to take sannydsa at the end of life, to engage 
himself completely in the service of the Lord and thus become freed 
from all sinful reactions of his past life. 

The Lord then assured King Mucukunda, "In your next life you will take 
your birth as a first-class Vaisnava, the best of brdhmanas, and in that 



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129 



life your only business will be to engage yourself in My transcendental 
service." A Vaisnava is a first-class brdhmana because one who has not 
acquired the qualification of a bona fide brdhmana cannot come to the 
platform of a Vaisnava. When one becomes a Vaisnava, he is completely 
engaged in welfare activities for all living entities. The highest welfare 
activity for living entities is the preaching of Krsna consciousness. It is 
stated herein that those who are specifically favored by the Lord can 
become absolutely Krsna conscious and be engaged in the work of 
preaching the Vaisnava philosophy. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fifty-first Chapter of Krsna, 
"The Deliverance of Mucukunda." 



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130 



CHAPTER FIFTY-TWO 
Krsna, the Ranacora 

When Mucukunda, the celebrated descendant of the Iksvaku dynasty, 
was favored by Lord Krsna, he circumambulated the Lord within the 
cave and then came out. On coming out of the cave, Mucukunda saw 
that the human species had surprisingly been reduced in stature to 
pygmy size. Similarly, the trees had also been far reduced in size, and 
Mucukunda could immediately understand that the current age was 
Kali-yuga. Therefore, without diverting his attention, he began to travel 
north. Eventually he reached the mountain known as Gandhamadana, 
where there were many trees, such as sandalwood and other flowering 
trees, whose fragrance made anyone who reached them joyful. He 
decided to remain in that Gandhamadana Mountain region to execute 
austerities and penances for the rest of his life. It appears that this place 
is situated in the northernmost part of the Himalayan Mountains, where 
the abode of Nara-Narayana is situated. This place is still existing and is 
called Badarikasrama. In Badarikasrama he engaged himself in the 
worship of Lord Krsna, tolerating all kinds of pains and pleasures and 
the other dualities of this material world. Lord Krsna returned to the 
vicinity of Mathura, where He fought with the soldiers of Kalayavana 
and killed them one after another. After this, He collected all the booty 
from the dead bodies, and under His direction it was loaded on bullock 
carts and brought back to Dvaraka. 

Meanwhile, Jarasandha again attacked Mathura, this time with bigger 
divisions of soldiers, numbering twenty-three aksauhinls. 
Sri Krsna wanted to save Mathura from the eighteenth attack of the 
great military divisions of King Jarasandha. To prevent further killing of 
soldiers and to attend to other important business, Lord Krsna left the 
battlefield without fighting. Actually He was not at all afraid, but He 
pretended to be an ordinary human being frightened by the immense 
quantity of soldiers and resources of Jarasandha. Without any weapons 
He left the battlefield. Although His lotus feet were as soft as the petals 
of a lotus flower, He proceeded for a very long distance on foot. 
This time, Jarasandha thought that Krsna and Balarama were very much 



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131 



afraid of His military strength and were fleeing the battlefield. He 
followed Them with all his chariots, horses and infantry. He thought 
Krsna and Balarama to be ordinary human beings, and he was trying to 
measure the activities of the Lord. Krsna is known as Ranacora, which 
means "one who has left the battlefield." In India, especially in Gujarat, 
there are many temples of Krsna known as temples of Ranacoraji. 
Ordinarily, if a king leaves the battlefield without fighting he is called a 
coward, but when Krsna enacts this pastime, leaving the battlefield 
without fighting, He is worshiped by the devotee. A demon always tries 
to measure the opulence of Krsna, whereas a devotee never tries to 
measure His strength and opulence but always surrenders unto Him and 
worships Him. By following in the footsteps of pure devotees, we can 
know that Krsna, the Ranchorji, left the battlefield not because He was 
afraid but because He had some other purpose. The purpose, as it will be 
revealed, was to attend to a confidential letter sent by Rukmini, His 
future first wife. Krsna's leaving the battlefield is a display of one of His 
six opulences. Krsna is the supreme powerful, the supreme wealthy, the 
supreme famous, the supreme wise and the supreme beautiful; similarly, 
He is the supreme renouncer. Srlmad-Bhdgavatam clearly states that He 
left the battlefield in spite of having ample military strength. Even 
without His militia, He alone would have been sufficient to defeat the 
army of Jarasandha, as He had done seventeen times before. Therefore, 
His leaving the battlefield is an example of His supermost opulence, 
renunciation. 

After traversing a very long distance, the brothers pretended to become 
tired. To mitigate Their weariness, They climbed up a mountain many 
miles above sea level. This mountain was called Pravarsana due to 
constant rain, for the peak was always covered with clouds sent by Indra. 
Jarasandha took it for granted that the two brothers were afraid of his 
military power and had hidden Themselves at the top of the mountain. 
First he tried to find Them, searching for a long time, but when he failed 
he decided to trap and kill Them by setting fires around the peak. He 
therefore surrounded the peak with firewood and set it ablaze. As the 
fire spread more and more, Krsna and Balarama jumped from the top of 
the mountain down to the ground — a distance of eighty-eight miles. 
Thus, while the peak was burning up, Krsna and Balarama escaped, 



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unseen by Jarasandha or his men. Jarasandha concluded that the two 
brothers had burned to ashes and that there was no need of further 
fighting. Thinking himself successful in his efforts, he left the city of 
Mathura and returned to his home in the kingdom of Magadha. 
Gradually Krsna and Balarama reached the city of Dvaraka, which was 
surrounded by the sea. 

Following this, Sri Balarama married Revati, daughter of King Raivata, 
ruler of the Anarta province. This is explained in the Ninth Canto of 
Srlmad-Bhdgavatam. After the marriage of Baladeva, Krsna married 
RukminI. RukminI was the daughter of King Bhismaka, ruler of the 
province known as Vidarbha. Just as Krsna is the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, Vasudeva, Rukmini is the supreme goddess of fortune, Maha- 
Laksmi. According to the authority of the Caitanya-caritdmrta, the 
expansion of Krsna and that of SrimatI RadharanI are simultaneous: 
Krsna expands Himself into various visnu-tattva forms, and SrimatI 
RadharanI expands Herself into various sakti-tattva forms, by Her 
internal potency, as multiforms of the goddess of fortune. 
According to Vedic convention, there are eight kinds of marriage. In 
the first-class marriage system, the parents of the bride and bridegroom 
arrange the marriage date. Then, in royal style, the bridegroom goes to 
the house of the bride, and in the presence of brdhmanas, priests and 
relatives, the bride is given in charity to the bridegroom. Besides this, 
there are other systems, such as the gdndharva and rdksasa marriages. 
Krsna married RukminI according to the rdksasa system, since He 
kidnapped her in the presence of His many rivals, like Sisupala, 
Jarasandha and Salva. While RukminI was being given in charity to 
Sisupala, Krsna snatched her from the marriage arena exactly as Garuda 
snatched the pot of nectar from the demigods. RukminI, the only 
daughter of King Bhismaka, was exquisitely beautiful. She was known as 
Ruciranana, which means "one who has a beautiful face, expanding like 
a lotus flower." 

Devotees of Krsna are always eager to hear about the transcendental 
activities of the Lord. His activities of fighting, kidnapping and running 
away from the battlefield are all transcendental, being on the absolute 
platform, and devotees take a transcendental interest in hearing of 
them. The pure devotee does not make the distinction that some 



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133 



activities of the Lord should be heard and others avoided. There is, 
however, a class of so-called devotees known as prdkrta-sahajiyds who are 
very much interested in hearing about Krsna's rdsa-llld with the gopls 
but not about His fighting with His enemies. They do not know that His 
bellicose activities and His friendly activities with the gopls are equally 
transcendental, being on the absolute platform. All the transcendental 
pastimes of Krsna described in Srlmad-Bhdgavatam are relished by pure 
devotees through submissive aural reception. They do not reject even a 
drop. 

The story of Krsna's marriage with Rukmini is described as follows. The 
King of Vidarbha, Maharaja Bhismaka, was a very qualified and devoted 
prince. He had five sons and only one daughter. The first son was known 
as Rukmi; the second, Rukmaratha; the third, Rukmabahu; the fourth, 
Rukmakesa; and the fifth, Rukmamali. The brothers had one young 
sister, Rukmini. She was beautiful and chaste and was meant to be 
married to Lord Krsna. Many saintly persons and sages like Narada Muni 
used to visit the palace of King Bhismaka. Naturally Rukmini had a 
chance to talk with them, and in this way she obtained information 
about Krsna. She was informed about the six opulences of Krsna, and 
simply by hearing about Him she desired to surrender herself to His lotus 
feet and become His wife. Krsna had also heard of Rukmini. She was the 
reservoir of all transcendental qualities: intelligence, auspicious physical 
features, liberal-mindedness, exquisite beauty and righteous behavior. 
Krsna therefore decided that she was fit to be His wife. All of the 
relatives of King Bhismaka decided that Rukmini should be given in 
marriage to Krsna. But her elder brother Rukmi, despite the desire of the 
others, arranged for her marriage with Sisupala, a determined enemy of 
Krsna. When the black-eyed, beautiful Rukmini heard of the settlement, 
she immediately became very morose. However, being a king's daughter, 
she understood political diplomacy and decided that there was no use in 
simply being morose. Some steps should be taken immediately. After 
some deliberation, she decided to send a message to Krsna, and so that 
she might not be deceived, she selected a qualified brdhmana as her 
messenger. Such a qualified brdhmana is always truthful and is a devotee 
of Visnu. Without delay, she sent the brdhmana to Dvaraka. 
Reaching the gate of Dvaraka, the brdhmana informed the doorkeeper of 



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134 



his arrival, and the doorkeeper led him to the place where Krsna was 
sitting on a golden throne. Since the brdhmana had the opportunity to 
be Rukmini's messenger, he was fortunate enough to see the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead Krsna, the original cause of all causes. A 
brdhmana is the spiritual teacher of all the social divisions. Lord Sri 
Krsna, in order to teach everyone the Vedic etiquette of how to respect 
a brdhmana, immediately got up and offered him His throne. When the 
brdhmana was seated on the golden throne, Lord Sri Krsna began to 
worship him exactly as the demigods worship Krsna. In this way, He 
taught everyone that worshiping His devotee is more valuable than 
worshiping Him. 

In due time, the brdhmana took his bath, accepted his meals and lay 
down to rest on a bedstead completely bedecked with soft silk. As he was 
resting, Lord Sri Krsna silently approached and, with great respect, put 
the brdhmana's legs on His lap and began to massage them. In this way, 
Krsna appeared before the brdhmana and said, "My dear brdhmana, I 
hope that you are executing the religious principles without difficulty 
and that your mind is always peaceful." Different classes of people in the 
social system are engaged in various professions, and when one inquires 
as to the well-being of a particular person, he should do so on the basis of 
that person's occupation. Therefore, when one inquires as to the welfare 
of a brdhmana, the questions should be worded according to his 
condition of life so as not to disturb him. A peaceful mind is the basis for 
becoming truthful, clean, equipoised, self-controlled and tolerant. Thus 
by attaining knowledge and knowing its practical application in life, one 
becomes convinced about the Absolute Truth. The brdhmana knew 
Krsna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and still he accepted 
the respectful service of the Lord on the grounds of Vedic social 
convention. Lord Sri Krsna was playing just like a human being. Because 
He belonged to the ksatriya division of the social system and was a young 
boy, it was His duty to show respect to such a brdhmana. 
Lord Krsna continued: "O best of all the brdhmanas, you should always 
remain satisfied, for if a brdhmana is always self-satisfied he will not 
deviate from his prescribed duties; and simply by sticking to one's 
prescribed duties, everyone, especially a brdhmana, can attain the 
highest perfection of all desires. Even if a person is as opulent as the 



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135 



King of heaven, Indra, if he is not satisfied he inevitably has to 
transmigrate from one planet to another. Such a person can never be 
happy under any circumstances; but if one's mind is satisfied, even if he 
is bereft of all possessions, he can be happy living anywhere." 
This instruction by Krsna to the brdhmana is very significant. The 
purport is that a true brdhmana should not be disturbed in any situation. 
In this modern age, Kali-yuga, the so-called brahmanas have accepted 
the abominable position of sudras or less and still want to pass as 
qualified brahmanas. Actually, a qualified brdhmana always sticks to his 
own duties and never accepts those of a sudra or of one less than a sudra. 
It is advised in the authorized scriptures that a brdhmana may, under 
awkward circumstances, accept the profession of a ksatriya or even a 
vaisya, but never is he to accept the profession of a sudra. Lord Krsna 
declared that a brdhmana will never be disturbed by any adverse 
conditions if he scrupulously sticks to his religious principles. In 
conclusion, Lord Sri Krsna said, "I offer My respectful obeisances to the 
brahmanas and Vaisnavas, for the brahmanas are always self-satisfied 
and the Vaisnavas are always engaged in actual welfare activities for 
human society. They are the best friends of the people in general; they 
are free from false egoism and are always in a peaceful condition of 
mind." 

Lord Krsna then desired to know about the rulers (ksatriyas) in the 
brdhmana' s kingdom, so He inquired whether the citizens of the 
kingdom were all happy. A king's qualification is judged by the 
temperament of the people in the kingdom. If they are happy in all 
respects, it is to be understood that the king is honest and is executing 
his duties rightly. Krsna said that the king in whose kingdom the citizens 
are happy is very dear to Him. Of course, Krsna could understand that 
the brdhmana had come with a confidential message; therefore He said, 
"If you have no objection, I give you liberty to speak about your 



mission." 



Thus, being very much satisfied by these transcendental pastimes with 
the Lord, the brdhmana narrated the whole story of his mission in 
coming to see Krsna. He got out the letter Rukmini had written to Krsna 
and said, "These are the words of Princess Rukmini: "My dear Krsna, O 
infallible and most beautiful one, any human being who happens to hear 



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136 



about Your transcendental form and pastimes immediately absorbs 
through his ears Your name, fame and qualities; thus all his material 
pangs subside, and he fixes Your form in his heart. Through such 
transcendental love for You, he always sees You within himself; and by 
this process all his desires are fulfilled. Similarly, I have heard of Your 
transcendental qualities. I may be shameless in expressing myself 
directly, but You have captivated me and taken my heart. You may 
doubt my steadiness of character, since how could an unmarried young 
girl like me approach You without any shame? But my dear Mukunda, 
You are the supreme lion among human beings, the supreme person 
among persons. Any girl, though not yet having left her home, or even 
any woman of the highest chastity, would desire to marry You, being 
captivated by Your unprecedented character, knowledge, opulence and 
position. I know that You are the husband of the goddess of fortune and 
are very kind toward Your devotees; therefore I have decided to become 
Your eternal maidservant. My dear Lord, I dedicate my life and soul unto 
Your lotus feet. I have selected Your Lordship as my husband, and I 
therefore request You to accept me as Your wife. You are the supreme 
powerful, O lotus-eyed one. Now I belong to You. If that which is 
enjoyable for the lion to eat is taken away by the jackal, it will be a 
ludicrous affair; therefore I request You to immediately take care of me 
before I am taken away by Sisupala and other princes like him. My dear 
Lord, in my previous life I may have done public welfare work like 
digging wells and planting trees, or pious activities such as performing 
ritualistic ceremonies and sacrifices and serving superiors like the 
spiritual master, brdhmanas and Vaisnavas. By these activities, perhaps I 
have pleased the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. If this be 
so, then I wish that You, Lord Krsna, the brother of Lord Balarama, 
please come here and catch hold of my hand so that I shall not be 
touched by Sisupala and his company.' " 

Rukmini's marriage with Sisupala was already settled; therefore she 
suggested that Krsna kidnap her so that this might be changed. This sort 
of marriage, in which the girl is kidnapped by force, is known as raksasa 
and is practiced among ksatriyas, or men with an administrative, martial 
spirit. Because her marriage was already arranged to take place the next 
day, Rukmini suggested that Krsna come there incognito to kidnap her 



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137 



and then fight with Sisupala and his allies like the King of Magadha. 
Knowing that no one could conquer Krsna, who would certainly emerge 
victorious, she addressed Him as Ajita, "the unconquerable Lord." 
Rukmini told Krsna not to be concerned that the fighting would take 
place within the palace and that many of her family members, including 
other women, might thus be wounded or even killed. As the king of a 
country thinks of diplomatic ways to achieve his object, Rukmini, being 
the daughter of a king, was diplomatic in suggesting how this 
unnecessary and undesirable killing could be avoided. She explained 
that it was the custom of her family to visit the temple of goddess Durga, 
their family deity, before a marriage. (The ksatriya kings were mostly 
staunch Vaisnavas, worshiping Lord Visnu in either the Radha-Krsna or 
Laksmi-Narayana form; still, for their material welfare they used to 
worship goddess Durga. They never made the mistake, however, of 
accepting the demigods as the Supreme Lord on the level of visnu-tattva, 
as do some less intelligent men.) To avoid the unnecessary killing of her 
relatives, Rukmini suggested that it would be easiest for Him to kidnap 
her while she was either going from the palace to the temple or else 
returning home. 

She also explained to Krsna why she was anxious to marry Him, even 
though her marriage was to take place with Sisupala, who was also 
qualified, being the son of a great king. Rukmini said that she did not 
think anyone was greater than Krsna, not even Lord Siva, who is known 
as Mahadeva, the greatest of all demigods. Lord Siva also seeks the 
pleasure of Lord Krsna in order to be delivered from his entanglement in 
the quality of ignorance within the material world. Although Lord Siva 
is the greatest of all great souls, mahatmas, he keeps on his head the 
purifying water of the Ganges, which emanates from a hole in this 
material universe made by the toe of Lord Visnu. Lord Siva is in charge 
of the material quality of ignorance, and to keep himself in a 
transcendental position he always meditates on Lord Visnu, or Krsna, 
and always tries to purify himself with the water of the Ganges. 
Therefore Rukmini knew very well that obtaining the favor of Krsna 
was not easy. Since even Lord Siva must purify himself for this purpose, 
surely it would be difficult for Rukmini, who was only the daughter of a 
ksatriya king. Thus she desired to dedicate her life to observing severe 



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138 



austerities and penances, such as fasting and going without bodily 
comforts. If it were not possible in this lifetime to gain Krsna's favor by 
these activities, she was prepared to die from such austerities and to 
undergo similar difficulties lifetime after lifetime. In the Bhagavad-glta it 
is said that pure devotees of the Lord execute devotional service with 
great determination. Such determination, as exhibited by Rukminl-devI, 
is the only price for purchasing Krsna's favor. One should be strongly 
determined in Krsna consciousness, and that is the way to ultimate 
success. 

After relaying Rukmini-devi's statement to Krsna, the brahmana said, 
"My dear Krsna, chief of the Yadu dynasty, I have brought this 
confidential message for You from Rukmini; now it is placed before You 
for Your consideration. After due deliberation, You may act as You 
please, but if You want to do something, You must do it immediately. 
There is not much time left for action." 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fifty-second Chapter of Krsna, 
"Krsna, the Ranacora." 



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139 



CHAPTER FIFTY-THREE 
Krsna Kidnaps Rukmini 

After hearing Rukmini's statement, Lord Krsna was very much pleased. 
He immediately shook hands with the brdhmana and said, "My dear 
brdhmana, I am very glad to hear that Rukmini is anxious to marry Me, 
since I am also anxious to get her hand. My mind is always absorbed in 
thoughts of the daughter of Bhismaka, and sometimes I cannot sleep at 
night because I am thinking of her. I can understand that the marriage 
of Rukmini with Sisupala has been arranged by her elder brother in a 
spirit of animosity toward Me; so I am determined to give a good lesson 
to all of these princes. Just as one extracts and uses fire after 
manipulating ordinary wood, after dealing with these demoniac princes I 
shall bring forth Rukmini, like fire, from their midst." 
Krsna, upon being informed of the specific date of Rukmini's marriage, 
was anxious to leave immediately. He asked His driver, Daruka, to 
harness the horses for His chariot and prepare to go to the kingdom of 
Vidarbha. After hearing this order, the driver brought Krsna's four 
special horses. The names and descriptions of these horses are 
mentioned in the Padma Purdna. The first one, Saibya, was greenish; the 
second, Sugriva, was grayish like ice; the third, Meghapuspa, was the 
color of a new cloud; and the last, Balahaka, was of ashen color. When 
the horses were yoked and the chariot was ready to go, Krsna helped the 
brdhmana up and gave him a seat by His side. Immediately they started 
from Dvaraka and within one night arrived at the province of Vidarbha. 
The kingdom of Dvaraka is situated in the western part of India, and 
Vidarbha is situated in the northern part. They are separated by a 
distance of not less than one thousand miles, but the horses were so fast 
that they reached their destination, a town called Kundina, within one 
night or, at most, twelve hours. 

King Bhismaka was not enthusiastic about handing his daughter over to 
Sisupala, but he was obliged to accept the marriage settlement due to his 
affectionate attachment for his eldest son, who had negotiated it. As a 
matter of duty, the King was decorating the city for the marriage 
ceremony and acting in great earnestness to make it very successful. 



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140 



Water was sprinkled all over the streets, and the city was cleansed very 
nicely. Since India is situated in the tropical zone, the atmosphere is 
always dry. Dust always accumulates on the streets and roads, so they 
must be sprinkled with water at least once a day, and in big cities like 
Calcutta twice a day. The roads of Kundina were arranged with colored 
flags and festoons, and gates were constructed at particular crossings. 
The whole city was decorated very nicely. The beauty of the city was 
enhanced by the inhabitants, both men and women, who were dressed in 
fresh, washed clothes and decorated with sandalwood pulp, pearl 
necklaces and flower garlands. Incense burned everywhere, and 
fragrances like aguru scented the air. Priests and brdhmanas were 
sumptuously fed and, according to ritualistic ceremony, were given 
sufficient wealth and cows in charity. In this way, they were engaged in 
chanting Vedic hymns. The King's daughter, RukminI, was exquisitely 
beautiful. She was very clean and had beautiful teeth. The auspicious 
sacred thread was tied on her wrist. She was given various types of 
jewelry to wear and long silken cloth to cover the upper and lower parts 
of her body. Learned priests gave her protection by chanting mantras 
from the Sdma Veda, Rg Veda and Yajur Veda. Then they chanted 
mantras from the Atharva Veda and offered oblations in the fire to 
pacify the influence of different stars. 

King Bhismaka was experienced in dealing with brdhmanas and priests 
when such ceremonies were held. He specifically honored the brdhmanas 
by giving them large quantities of gold and silver, grain mixed with 
molasses, and cows decorated with cloth and ornaments. Damaghosa, 
Sisupala's father, executed all kinds of ritualistic performances to invoke 
good fortune for his son. Sisupala's father was known as Damaghosa due 
to his superior ability to cut down unregulated citizens. Dama means 
curbing down, and ghosa means famous; so he was famous for controlling 
the citizens. Damaghosa thought that if Krsna came to disturb the 
marriage ceremony, he would certainly cut Him down with his military 
power. Therefore, after performing the various auspicious ceremonies, 
Damaghosa gathered his military divisions. He took many elephants, 
garlanded with golden necklaces, and many similarly decorated chariots 
and horses. It appeared that Damaghosa, along with his son and other 
companions, was going to Kundina not exactly to get Sisupala married 



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141 



but mainly to fight. 

When King Bhismaka learned that Damaghosa and his party were 
arriving, he left the city to receive them. Outside the city gate were 
many gardens where guests were welcome to stay. In the Vedic system of 
marriage, the bride's father receives the large party of the bridegroom 
and accommodates them in a suitable place for two or three days until 
the marriage ceremony is performed. The party led by Damaghosa 
contained thousands of men, among whom the prominent kings and 
personalities were Jarasandha, Dantavakra, Viduratha and Paundraka. It 
was an open secret that Rukmini was meant to be married to Krsna but 
that her elder brother Rukml had arranged her marriage to Sisupala. 
There was also some whispering about a rumor that Rukmini had sent a 
messenger to Krsna; therefore the soldiers suspected that Krsna might 
cause a disturbance by attempting to kidnap Rukmini. Even though they 
were not without fear, they were all prepared to give Krsna a good fight 
to prevent the girl from being taken away. Sri Balarama received the 
news that Krsna had left for Kundina accompanied only by a brdhmana 
and that Sisupala was there with a large number of soldiers. Balarama 
suspected that they would attack Krsna, and thus out of great affection 
for His brother He took strong military divisions of chariots, infantry, 
horses and elephants and went to the precincts of Kundina. 
Meanwhile, inside the palace, Rukmini was expecting Krsna to arrive, 
but when neither He nor the brdhmana who took her message appeared, 
she was full of anxiety and began to think how unfortunate she was. 
"There is only one night between today and my marriage day, and still 
neither the brdhmana nor Syamasundara has returned. I cannot 
ascertain any reason for this." Having little hope, she thought that 
perhaps Krsna had found reason to become dissatisfied and had rejected 
her fair proposal. As a result, the brdhmana might have become 
disappointed and not come back. Although she was thinking of various 
causes for the delay, she expected them both at any moment. 
Rukmini further thought that demigods such as Lord Brahma, Lord Siva 
and goddess Durga might have been displeased. It is generally said that 
the demigods become angry when not properly worshiped. For instance, 
when Indra found that the inhabitants of Vrndavana were not 
worshiping him (Krsna having stopped the Indra-yajna), he became 



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angry and wanted to chastise them. Thus Rukmini thought that since 
she did not worship Lord Siva or Lord Brahma very much, they might 
have become angry and tried to frustrate her plan. Similarly she thought 
that goddess Durga, the wife of Lord Siva, might have taken the side of 
her husband. Lord Siva is known as Rudra, and his wife is known as 
Rudrani. Rudrani and Rudra refer to those who are accustomed to 
putting others in distress to cry forever. Rukmini was thinking of 
goddess Durga as Girija, the daughter of the Himalayan Mountains. The 
Himalayan Mountains are very cold and hard, and she thought of 
goddess Durga as hardhearted and cold. In her anxiety to see Krsna, 
Rukmini, who was after all still a child, thought this way about the 
different demigods. The gopls worshiped goddess KatyayanI to get Krsna 
as their husband; similarly Rukmini was thinking of the various types of 
demigods not for material benefit but in respect to Krsna. Praying to the 
demigods to achieve the favor of Krsna is not irregular, and Rukmini was 
fully absorbed in thoughts of Krsna. 

Even though she pacified herself by thinking that the time for Govinda 
to arrive had not yet expired, Rukmini felt that she was hoping against 
hope. Not expressing her mind to anyone, she simply shed tears, 
unobserved by others, and when her tears became more forceful, she 
closed her eyes in helplessness. While Rukmini was in such deep 
thought, auspicious symptoms appeared in different parts of her body. 
Trembling began to occur in her left eyelid, arm and thigh. When 
trembling occurs in these parts of the body, it is an auspicious sign 
indicating that something lucrative can be expected. 
Just then, Rukmini, full of anxiety, saw the brdhmana messenger. Krsna, 
being the Supersoul of all living beings, could understand Rukmini's 
anxiety; therefore He sent the brdhmana inside the palace to let her 
know that He had arrived. When Rukmini saw the brdhmana, she could 
understand the auspicious trembling of her body and immediately 
became elated. She smiled and inquired whether Krsna had already 
come. The brdhmana replied that the son of the Yadu dynasty, Sri 
Krsna, had arrived; he further encouraged her by saying that Krsna had 
promised to carry her away without fail. Rukmini was so elated by the 
brdhmana's message that she wanted to give him in charity everything 
she possessed. However, finding nothing suitable for presentation, she 



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simply offered him her respectful obeisances. The significance of 
offering respectful obeisances to a superior is that the one offering 
obeisances is obliged to the respected person. In other words, Rukmini 
implied that she would remain ever grateful to the brdhmana. Anyone 
who gets the favor of the goddess of fortune, as did this brdhmana, is 
without a doubt always happy in material opulence. 
When King Bhismaka heard that Krsna and Balarama had come, he 
invited Them to see the marriage ceremony of his daughter. Immediately 
he arranged to receive Them, along with Their soldiers, in a suitable 
garden house. As was the Vedic custom, the King offered Krsna and 
Balarama honey and fresh, washed clothes. He was hospitable not only 
to Krsna, Balarama and kings such as Jarasandha but also to many other 
kings and princes according to their personal strength, age and material 
possessions. Out of curiosity and eagerness, the people of Kundina 
assembled before Krsna and Balarama to drink the nectar of Their 
beauty. With tearful eyes, they offered Krsna and Balarama their silent 
respects. They were very much pleased, considering Lord Krsna the 
suitable match for Rukmini. They were so eager to unite Krsna and 
Rukmini that they prayed to the Personality of Godhead: "Our dear 
Lord, if we have performed any pious activities with which You are 
satisfied, kindly be merciful upon us and accept the hand of Rukmini." It 
appears that Rukmini was a very popular princess, and all the citizens, 
out of intense love for her, prayed for her best fortune. In the meantime, 
Rukmini, being very nicely dressed and protected by bodyguards, came 
out of the palace to visit the temple of Ambika, goddess Durga. 
Deity worship in the temple has been in existence since the beginning of 
Vedic culture. There is a class of men described in the Bhagavad-glta as 
veda-vdda-rata: they believe only in the Vedic ritualistic worship. Such 
foolish people may here take note that although this marriage of Krsna 
and Rukmini took place more than five thousand years ago, there were 
arrangements for temple worship. In the Bhagavad-glta the Lord says, 
yanti deva-vratd devdn: [Bg. 9.25] "The worshipers of the demigods attain 
the abodes of the demigods." There were many people who worshiped 
the demigods and many who directly worshiped the Supreme Personality 
of Godhead. The system of demigod worship was directed mainly to Lord 
Brahma, Lord Siva, Lord Ganesa, the sun-god and goddess Durga. Lord 



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144 



Siva and goddess Durga were worshiped even by the royal families; 
other, minor demigods were worshiped by silly, lower-class people. As far 
as the brdhmanas and Vaisnavas are concerned, they simply worship 
Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Bhagavad-gltd 
the worship of demigods is condemned but not forbidden; there it is 
clearly stated that less intelligent men worship the demigods for material 
benefit. On the other hand, even though RukminI was the goddess of 
fortune, she went to the temple of goddess Durga because the family 
deity was worshiped there. In Srlmad-Bhdgavatam it is stated that as 
RukminI proceeded towards the temple of goddess Durga, within her 
heart she always thought of the lotus feet of Krsna. Therefore when 
RukminI went to the temple it was not with the intention of an ordinary 
person, who goes to beg for material benefits; her only goal was Krsna. 
As RukminI proceeded toward the temple, she was silent and grave. Her 
mother and her girlfriends were by her side, and the wife of a brdhmana 
was in the center; surrounding her were royal bodyguards. (This custom 
of a would-be bride's going to the temple of a demigod is still practiced in 
India.) As the procession continued, various musical sounds were heard. 
Conchshells, panavas and other drums, and bugles of different sizes, such 
as turyas and bherls, combined to make a sound which was not only 
auspicious but very sweet to hear. Thousands of wives of respectable 
brdhmanas were present, all dressed very nicely with suitable ornaments. 
They presented RukminI with flower garlands, sandalwood pulp and a 
variety of colorful garments to assist her in worshiping Lord Siva and 
goddess Durga. Some of these ladies were very old and knew perfectly 
well how to chant prayers to goddess Durga and Lord Siva; so, followed 
by RukminI and others, they led these prayers before the deity. 
RukminI offered her prayers to the deity by saying, "My dear goddess 
Durga, I offer my respectful obeisances unto you as well as to your 
children." Goddess Durga has four famous children: two daughters — the 
goddess of fortune, LaksmI, and the goddess of learning, SarasvatI — and 
two famous sons, Lord Ganesa and Lord Karttikeya. They are all 
considered to be demigods and goddesses. Since goddess Durga is always 
worshiped with her famous children, RukminI specifically offered her 
respectful obeisances to the deity in that way; however, her prayers were 
special. Ordinary people pray to goddess Durga for material wealth, 



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145 



fame, profit, strength and so on; Rukmini, however, desired to have 
Krsna for her husband and therefore prayed that the deity be pleased 
with her and bless her with that benediction. Since she desired only 
Krsna, her worship of the demigods is not condemned. While Rukmini 
was praying, she presented a variety of items before the deity, chief of 
which were water, different kinds of flames, incense, garments, garlands 
and various foods prepared with ghee, such as purls and kachoris. She 
also offered fruits, sugarcane, betel nuts and spices. With great devotion, 
Rukmini offered them to the deity according to the regulative 
principles, directed by the old brdhmana ladies. After this ritualistic 
ceremony, the ladies offered the remnants of the food to Rukmini as 
prasddam, which she accepted with great respect. Then Rukmini offered 
her obeisances to the ladies and to goddess Durga. After the business of 
deity worship was finished, Rukmini caught hold of the hand of one of 
her girlfriends in her own hand, which was decorated with a jeweled 
ring, and left the temple in the company of the others. 
All the princes and visitors who came to Kundina for the marriage had 
assembled outside the temple to see Rukmini. The princes were 
especially eager to see her because they all actually thought that they 
would have Rukmini as their wife. Struck with wonder upon seeing 
Rukmini, they thought she was especially manufactured by the Creator 
to bewilder all the great chivalrous princes. Her body was well 
constructed, the middle portion being thin. Her high hips were adorned 
with a jeweled locket, she had pink lips, and the beauty of her face was 
enhanced by her slightly scattered hair and by different kinds of 
earrings. The bodily luster and beauty of Rukmini appeared as if painted 
by an artist perfectly presenting beauty following the descriptions of 
great poets. Rukmini's breasts are described as being somewhat high, 
indicating that she was just a youth not more than thirteen or fourteen 
years old. Her beauty was specifically intended to attract the attention 
of Krsna. Although the princes gazed upon her beautiful features, she 
was not at all proud. Her eyes moved restlessly, and when she smiled 
very simply, like an innocent girl, her teeth appeared just like jasmine 
buds. Expecting Krsna to take her away at any moment, she proceeded 
slowly towards her home. Her legs moved just like a full-grown swan, and 
her ankle bells tinkled mildly. 



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The chivalrous princes assembled there were so overwhelmed by 
Rukmini's beauty that they almost became unconscious and fell from 
their horses and elephants. Full of lust, they hopelessly desired 

s 

Rukmini's hand, comparing their own beauty to hers. Srimati Rukmini, 
however, was not interested in any of them; in her heart she was simply 
expecting Krsna to come and carry her away. As she was adjusting the 
ornaments on a finger of her left hand, she happened to look upon the 
princes and suddenly saw that Krsna was present amongst them. 
Although Rukmini had never before seen Krsna, she was always 
thinking of Him; thus she had no difficulty recognizing Him amongst 
the princely order. Krsna, unconcerned with the other princes, 
immediately took the opportunity to place Rukmini on His chariot, 
marked by a flag bearing an image of Garuda. He then proceeded slowly, 
without fear, taking Rukmini away exactly as a lion takes a deer from 
the midst of jackals. Meanwhile, Balarama appeared on the scene with 
the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty. 

Jarasandha, who had many times experienced defeat by Krsna, roared, 
"How is this? Krsna is taking Rukmini away from us without opposition! 
What is the use of our being chivalrous fighters with arrows? My dear 
princes, just look! We are losing our reputation. He is just like a jackal 
taking booty from a lion." 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fifty-third Chapter of Krsna, 
"Krsna Kidnaps Rukmini." 



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CHAPTER FIFTY-FOUR 
Krsna Defeats All the Princes and Takes Rukmini 

Home to Dvaraka 

Jarasandha and all the other princes were very angry at Krsna's having 
kidnapped Rukmini. Struck by Rukmini's beauty, they had fallen from 
the backs of their horses and elephants, but now they began to stand up 
and properly arm themselves. Picking up their bows and arrows, they 
began to chase Krsna on their chariots, horses and elephants. To check 
their progress, the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty turned and faced them. 
Thus terrible fighting began between the two belligerent groups. The 
princes opposing Krsna, who were led by Jarasandha and were all expert 
in fighting, shot their arrows at the Yadu soldiers just as a cloud splashes 
the face of a mountain with torrents of rain. Gathered on the face of a 
mountain, a cloud does not move very much, and therefore the force of 
rain is much more severe on a mountain than anywhere else. 
The opposing princes were determined to defeat Krsna and recapture 
Rukmini from His custody, and they fought with Him as severely as 
possible. Rukmini, seated by the side of Krsna, saw arrows raining from 
the opposing party onto the faces of the Yadu soldiers. In a fearful 
attitude, she looked upon Krsna's face, expressing her gratefulness that 
He had taken such a great risk for her sake only. Her eyes moving, she 
appeared sorry, and Krsna, who could immediately understand her mind, 
encouraged her with these words: "My dear Rukmini, don't worry. Please 
rest assured that the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty will kill all the 
opposing soldiers without delay." 

As Krsna was speaking with Rukmini, the commanders of the Yadu 
dynasty's soldiers, headed by Lord Balarama, who is also known as 
Sankarsana, as well as by Gada, not tolerating the defiant attitude of the 
opposing soldiers, began to strike their horses, elephants and chariots 
with arrows. As the fighting progressed, the princes and soldiers of the 
enemy began to fall from their horses, elephants and chariots. Within a 
short time, millions of severed heads, decorated with helmets and 
earrings, had fallen on the battlefield. The soldiers' hands were severed 



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along with their bows and arrows and clubs; arms were piled upon arms, 
thighs upon thighs, and horses upon horses. Similarly, other animals, 
such as camels, elephants and asses, as well as infantry soldiers all fell 
with severed heads. 

When the enemy, headed by Jarasandha, found that they were gradually 
being defeated by the soldiers of Krsna, they thought it unwise to risk 
losing their armies in the battle for the sake of Sisupala. Sisupala himself 
should have fought to rescue RukminI from the hands of Krsna, but 
when the soldiers saw that Sisupala was not competent to fight with 
Krsna, they decided not to lose their armies unnecessarily; therefore 
they ceased fighting and dispersed. 

Some of the princes, as a matter of etiquette, appeared before Sisupala. 
They saw that Sisupala was discouraged, like one who has lost his wife. 
His face appeared dried up, he had lost all his energy, and all the luster 
of his body had disappeared. They addressed Sisupala thus: "Our dear 
Sisupala, don't be discouraged in this way. You belong to the royal order 
and are the chief amongst the fighters. There is no question of distress 
or happiness for a person like you because neither of these conditions is 
everlasting. Take courage. Don't be disappointed by this temporary 
reversal. After all, we are not the final actors; as puppets dance in the 
hands of a magician, we are all dancing by the will of the Supreme, and 
according to His plan alone we suffer distress or enjoy happiness. We 
should therefore be equipoised in all circumstances." 
Although in the beginning the princes had been full of hope for success 
in their heroic action, after their defeat they could only try to encourage 
Sisupala with flattering words. Thus Sisupala, instead of marrying 
RukminI, had to be satisfied with the flattering words of his friends, and 
he returned home in disappointment. The kings who had come to assist 
him, also disappointed, then returned to their respective kingdoms. 
The whole catastrophe of the defeat was due to the envious nature of 
Rukmini's elder brother Rukmi. Having seen his sister forcibly taken 
away by Krsna after he had planned to marry her to Sisupala, Rukmi was 
frustrated. So after Sisupala, his friend and intended brother-in-law, 
returned home, Rukmi, very much agitated, was determined to teach 
Krsna a lesson personally. He called for his own soldiers — a military 
phalanx consisting of several thousand elephants, horses, chariots and 



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infantry — and equipped with this military strength, he began to follow 
Krsna to Dvaraka. To show his prestige, Rukmi promised all the 
returning kings, "You could not help Sisupala marry my sister, Rukmini, 
but I cannot allow Rukmini to be taken away by Krsna. I shall teach Him 
a lesson. Now I am going to follow Him." He presented himself as a big 
commander and vowed before all the princes, "Unless I kill Krsna in the 
fight and bring back my sister from His clutches, I shall not return to my 
capital city, Kundina. I make this vow before you all, and you will see 
that I shall fulfill it." After thus vibrating all these boasting words, 
Rukmi immediately got on his chariot and told his chariot driver to 
pursue Krsna. He said, "I want to fight with Him immediately. This 
cowherd boy has become proud of His tricky way of fighting with 
ksatriyas, but today I shall teach Him a good lesson. Because He had the 
impudence to kidnap my sister, I, with my sharp arrows, shall teach Him 
very good lessons indeed." Thus this unintelligent man, Rukmi, ignorant 
of the extent of the strength and activities of the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, voiced his impudent threats. 

In great stupidity, he soon stood before Krsna, telling Him repeatedly, 
"Stop for a minute and fight with me!" After saying this he drew his bow 
and directly shot three forceful arrows against Krsna's body. Then he 
condemned Krsna as the most abominable descendant of the Yadu 
dynasty and asked Him to stand before him for a minute so that he could 
teach Him a good lesson. "You are carrying away my sister just like a 
crow stealing clarified butter meant for use in a sacrifice. You are proud 
of Your military strength, but You cannot fight according to regulative 
principles. You have stolen my sister; now I shall relieve You of Your 
false prestige. You can keep my sister in Your possession only until I beat 
You to the ground for good with my arrows." 

Lord Krsna, after hearing all these crazy words from Rukmi, immediately 
shot an arrow and severed the string of Rukml's bow, making him unable 
to use another arrow. Rukmi immediately took another bow and shot 
another five arrows at Krsna. Being attacked for the second time, Krsna 
again severed Rukml's bowstring. Rukmi took a third bow, and Krsna 
again cut its string. This time, to teach Rukmi a lesson, Krsna shot six 
arrows at him and then shot another eight arrows, killing four horses 
with four arrows, killing the chariot driver with another arrow, and 



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chopping off the upper portion of Rukmi's chariot, including the flag, 
with the remaining three arrows. 

Rukml, having run out of arrows, took assistance from swords, shields, 
tridents, lances and similar weapons used for fighting hand to hand, but 
Krsna immediately broke them all in the same way. Being repeatedly 
baffled in his attempts, Rukml took his sword and ran swiftly toward 
Krsna, just as a fly proceeds toward a fire. But as soon as Rukml reached 
Krsna, Krsna cut his weapon to pieces. This time Krsna took out His 
sharp sword and was about to kill him immediately, but Rukmi's sister, 
Rukmini, understanding that this time Krsna would not excuse her 
brother, fell down at Krsna's lotus feet and in a very grievous tone, 
trembling with great fear, began to plead with her husband. 
Rukmini first addressed Krsna as Yogesvara. Yogesvara means "one who 
is possessed of inconceivable opulence and energy." Krsna possesses 
inconceivable opulence and energy, whereas Rukmini's brother had only 
limited military potency. Krsna is immeasurable, whereas her brother 
was measured in every step of his life. Therefore, Rukml was not 
comparable even to an insignificant insect before the unlimited power 
of Krsna. She also addressed Krsna as the God of the gods. There are 
many powerful demigods, such as Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, Indra, 
Candra and Varuna, but Krsna is the Lord of all these gods, whereas 
Rukmini's brother was not only an ordinary human being but in fact the 
lowest of all because he had no understanding of Krsna. In other words, 
a human being who has no conception of the actual position of Krsna is 
the lowest in human society. Then Rukmini addressed Krsna as 
Mahabhuja, which means "one with unlimited strength." She also 
addressed Krsna as Jagatpati, the master of the whole cosmic 
manifestation. In comparison, her brother was only an ordinary prince. 
In this way, Rukmini compared the position of Rukml with that of Krsna 
and very feelingly pleaded with her husband not to kill her brother just 
at the auspicious time of her being united with Krsna but to excuse him. 
In other words, she displayed her real position as a woman. She was 
happy to get Krsna as her husband at the moment when her marriage to 
another was to be performed, but she did not want it to be at the loss of 
her elder brother, who, after all, loved his young sister and wanted to 
hand her over to one who, according to his own calculations, was a 



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better man. While Rukmini was praying to Krsna for the life of her 
brother, her whole body trembled, and because of her anxiety, her face 
appeared to dry up and her throat became choked, and due to her 
trembling, the ornaments on her body loosened and fell scattered on the 
ground. In this manner, when Rukmini was very much perturbed, she 
fell down on the ground, and Lord Krsna immediately became 
compassionate and agreed not to kill the foolish Rukmi. But, at the same 
time, He wanted to give him some light punishment, so He tied him up 
with a piece of cloth and snipped at his mustache, beard and hair, 
keeping some spots here and there. 

While Krsna was dealing with Rukmi in this way, the soldiers of the 
Yadu dynasty, commanded by Balarama Himself, broke the whole 
strength of Rukmi's army just as an elephant in a tank discards the 
feeble stem of a lotus flower. In other words, as an elephant breaks the 
whole construction of a lotus flower while bathing in a reservoir of 
water, the military strength of the Yadus broke up Rukmi's forces. 
When the commanders of the Yadu dynasty came back to see Krsna, 
they were all surprised to see the condition of Rukmi. Lord Balarama 
became especially compassionate for His sister-in-law, who was newly 
married to His brother. To please Rukmini, Balarama personally untied 
Rukmi, and to further please her, Balarama, as the elder brother of 
Krsna, spoke some words of chastisement. "Krsna, Your action is not at 
all satisfactory," He said. "This is an abomination very much contrary to 
Our family tradition! To cut someone's hair and shave his mustache and 
beard is almost comparable to killing him. Whatever Rukmi might have 
been, he is now Our brother-in-law, a relative of Our family, and You 
should not have put him in such a condition." 

After this, to pacify Rukmini, Lord Balarama said to her, "You should 
not be sorry that your brother has been made odd-looking. Everyone 
suffers or enjoys the results of his own actions." Lord Balarama wanted 
to impress upon Rukmini that she should not have been sorry for the 
consequences her brother suffered due to his actions. There was no need 
of being too affectionate toward such a brother. 

Lord Balarama again turned toward Krsna and said, "My dear Krsna, a 
relative, even though he commits such a blunder and deserves to be 
killed, should be excused. For when such a relative is conscious of his 



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own fault, that consciousness itself is like death. Therefore, there is no 
need to kill him." 

Balarama again turned toward Rukmini and informed her that the 
current duty of the ksatriya in human society is so fixed that, according 
to the principles of fighting, one's own brother may become an enemy. 
Then a ksatriya does not hesitate to kill his own brother. In other words, 
Lord Balarama wanted to instruct Rukmini that Rukmi and Krsna were 
right in not showing mercy to each other in the fighting, despite the 
family consideration that they happened to be brothers-in-law. Sri 
Balarama informed Rukmini that ksatriyas are typical emblems of the 
materialistic way of life; they become puffed up whenever there is a 
question of material acquisition. Therefore, when there is a fight 
between two belligerent ksatriyas for kingdom, land, wealth, women, 
prestige or power, they try to put one another into the most abominable 
condition. Balarama instructed Rukmini that her affection toward her 
brother Rukmi, who had created enmity with so many persons, was a 
perverse consideration befitting an ordinary materialist. Her brother's 
character was not at all admirable, considering his treatment toward 
other friends, and yet Rukmini, as an ordinary woman, was affectionate 
toward him. He was not fit to be her brother, and still Rukmini was 
lenient toward him. 

"Besides that," Balarama continued, "the consideration that a person is 
neutral or is one's friend or enemy is generally made by persons in the 
bodily concept of life. Such foolish persons are bewildered by the illusory 
energy of the Supreme Lord. The spirit soul is of the same pure quality 
in any embodiment of matter, but those who are not sufficiently 
intelligent see only the bodily differences between animals and men, 
literates and illiterates, rich and poor, which cover the pure spirit soul. 
Such differences, observed merely on the basis of the body, are exactly 
like the differences between fires in terms of the various types of fuel 
they consume. Whatever the size and shape of the fuel, there is no such 
variety of size and shape in the fire which comes out. Similarly, in the 
sky there are no differences in size or shape." 

In this way Balarama reconciled the situation by His moral and ethical 
instructions to Rukmini and Krsna. To Rukmini He stated further, "This 
body is part of the material manifestation, consisting of the material 



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elements, living conditions and interactions of the modes of material 
nature. The living entity, or spirit soul, being in contact with these, is 
transmigrating from one body to another due to illusory enjoyment, and 
that transmigration is known as material existence. This contact of the 
living entity with the material manifestation has neither integration nor 
disintegration. My dear chaste sister-in-law, the spirit soul is, of course, 
the cause of this material body, just as the sun is the cause of sunlight, 
eyesight and the forms of material manifestation." 
The example of the sunshine and the material manifestation is very 
appropriate in understanding the living entity's contact with the 
material world. In the morning the sun rises, and the heat and light 
gradually expand throughout the whole day. The sun is the cause of all 
material shapes and forms, for it is due to the sun that integration and 
disintegration of material elements take place. But as soon as the sun 
sets, the whole manifestation is no longer connected to the sun, which 
has passed from one place to another. When the sun passes from the 
eastern to the western hemisphere, the results of the interactions due to 
the sunshine in the eastern hemisphere remain, but the sunshine itself is 
visible in the western hemisphere. Similarly, the living entity accepts or 
produces different bodies and different bodily relationships in a 
particular circumstance, but as soon as he gives up the present body and 
accepts another, he has nothing to do with the former body. Similarly, 
the living entity has nothing to do with the next body he accepts. He is 
always free from the contact of this bodily contamination. "Therefore," 
continued Balarama, "the appearance and disappearance of the body 
have nothing to do with the living entity, just as the waxing and waning 
of the moon have nothing to do with the moon." When the moon waxes 
we falsely think that the moon is developing, and when it wanes we 
think the moon is decreasing. Factually, the moon, as it is, is always the 
same; it has nothing to do with such visible activities of waxing and 
waning. 

Lord Balarama continued: "One's consciousness in material existence 
can be compared to sleeping and dreaming. When a man sleeps, he 
dreams of many nonfactual happenings, and as a result of dreaming he 
becomes subject to different kinds of distress and happiness. Similarly, 
when a person is in the dream of material consciousness, he suffers the 



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effects of accepting a body and giving it up again in material existence. 
Opposite to this material consciousness is Krsna consciousness. In other 
words, when a man is elevated to the platform of Krsna consciousness, 
he becomes free from this false conception of life." 

In this way, Sri Balarama instructed Rukmini in spiritual knowledge. He 
further addressed His sister-in-law thus: "Sweet, smiling Rukmini, do not 
be aggrieved by false notions caused by ignorance. Only because of false 
notions does one become unhappy, but one can immediately remove this 
unhappiness by discussing the philosophy of actual life. Be happy on that 
platform only." 

After hearing such enlightening instructions from Sri Balarama, 
Rukmini immediately became pacified and happy and adjusted her mind, 
which was very much afflicted by the degraded position of her brother 
Rukmi. As far as Rukml was concerned, his promise was not fulfilled, 
nor was his mission successful. He had come from home with his soldiers 
and military phalanx to defeat Krsna and release his sister, but on the 
contrary he lost all his soldiers and military strength. He was personally 
degraded and very sorry, but by the grace of the Lord he could continue 
his life to its fixed destination. Because he was a ksatriya, he could 
remember his promise that he would not return to his capital city, 
Kundina, without killing Krsna and releasing his sister, which he had 
failed to do; therefore, he decided in anger not to return to his capital 
city, and he constructed a small cottage in the village known as 
Bhojakata, where he resided for the rest of his life. 
After defeating all the opposing elements and forcibly carrying away 
Rukmini, Krsna brought her to His capital city, Dvaraka, and then 
married her according to the Vedic ritualistic principle. After this 
marriage, Krsna became the King of the Yadus at Dvaraka. On the 
occasion of His marriage with Rukmini, all the inhabitants were happy, 
and in every house there were great ceremonies. The inhabitants of 
Dvaraka City were so pleased that they dressed themselves with the 
nicest possible ornaments and garments and went to present gifts, 
according to their means, to the newly married couple, Krsna and 
Rukmini. All the houses of Yadupurl (Dvaraka) were decorated with 
flags, festoons and flowers. Each and every house had an extra gate 
specifically prepared for this occasion, and on both sides of the gate were 



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155 



big water jugs filled with water. The whole city was made fragrant by the 
burning of fine incense, and at night there was illumination from 
thousands of lamps, which decorated every building. 
The entire city appeared jubilant on the occasion of Lord Krsna's 
marriage with Rukmini. Everywhere in the city there were profuse 
decorations of banana trees and betel nut trees. These two trees are 
considered very auspicious in happy ceremonies. At the same time there 
was an assembly of many elephants, who carried the respective kings of 
different friendly kingdoms. It is the habit of the elephant that 
whenever he sees some small plants and trees, out of his sportive and 
frivolous nature he uproots the trees and throws them hither and 
thither. The elephants assembled on this occasion also scattered the 
banana and betel nut trees, but in spite of such intoxicated action, the 
whole city, with the trees thrown here and there, looked very nice. 
The friendly kings of the Kurus and the Pandavas were represented by 
Bhisma, Dhrtarastra, the five Pandava brothers, King Drupada, King 
Santardana and Rukmini's father, Bhismaka. Because of Krsna's 
kidnapping Rukmini, there was initially some misunderstanding 
between the two families, but Bhismaka, King of Vidarbha, being 
approached by Sri Balarama and persuaded by many saintly persons, was 
induced to participate in the marriage ceremony of Krsna and Rukmini. 
Although the incident of the kidnapping was not a very happy 
occurrence in the kingdom of Vidarbha, kidnapping was not an unusual 
affair among ksatriyas. Kidnapping was, in fact, current in almost all 
their marriages. Anyway, King Bhismaka was from the very beginning 
inclined to hand over his beautiful daughter to Krsna. In one way or 
another his purpose had been served, and so he was pleased to join the 
marriage ceremony, even though his eldest son was degraded in the 
fight. It is mentioned in the Padma Pur ana that Maharaja Nanda and 
the cowherd boys of Vrndavana joined the marriage ceremony. Kings 
from the kingdoms of Kuru, Srfijaya, Kekaya, Vidarbha and Kunti all 
came to Dvaraka on this occasion and met with one another very 
joyfully. 

The story of Rukmini's being kidnapped by Krsna was poeticized, and 
professional readers recited it everywhere. All the assembled kings and 
their daughters especially were struck with wonder and very much 



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pleased upon hearing the chivalrous activities of Krsna. In this way, all 
the visitors as well as the inhabitants of Dvaraka City were joyful to see 
Krsna and Rukmini together. In other words, the Supreme Lord, the 
maintainer of everyone, and the goddess of fortune were united, and all 
the people felt extremely jubilant. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fifty-fourth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Krsna Defeats all the Princes and Takes Rukmini Home to Dvaraka." 



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CHAPTER FIFTY-FIVE 
Pradyumna Born to Krsna and Rukmini 

It is said that Cupid, who is directly part and parcel of Lord Vasudeva 
and who was formerly burned to ashes by the anger of Lord Siva, took 
birth from the womb of Rukmini, begotten by Krsna. This is Kamadeva, 
a demigod of the heavenly planets especially capable of inducing lusty 
desires. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, has many grades of 
parts and parcels, but the quadruple expansions of Krsna — Vasudeva, 
Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha — are directly in the Visnu 
category. Kama, or the Cupid demigod, who later took his birth from the 
womb of Rukmini, was also named Pradyumna, but he cannot be the 
Pradyumna of the Visnu category. He belongs to the category of jlva- 
tattva, but for special power in the category of demigods he was a part 
and parcel of the superprowess of Pradyumna. That is the verdict of the 
Gosvamis. Therefore, when Cupid was burned to ashes by the anger of 
Lord Siva, he merged into the body of Vasudeva, and to get his body 
again he was begotten in the womb of Rukmini by Lord Krsna Himself. 
Thus he was born as the son of Krsna and celebrated by the name 
Pradyumna. Because he was begotten by Lord Krsna directly, his 
qualities were most similar to those of Krsna. 

There was a demon of the name Sambara who was destined to be killed 
by this Pradyumna. The Sambara demon knew of his destiny, and as 
soon as he learned that Pradyumna was born, he took the shape of a 
woman and kidnapped the baby from the maternity home less than ten 
days after his birth. The demon took him and threw him directly into 
the sea. But, as it is said, "Whoever is protected by Krsna, no one can 
kill, and whoever is destined to be killed by Krsna, no one can protect." 
When Pradyumna was thrown into the sea, a big fish immediately 
swallowed him. Later this fish was caught in the net of a fisherman, and 
the fish was later sold to the Sambara demon. In the kitchen of the 
demon was a maidservant whose name was Mayavati. This woman had 
formerly been the wife of Cupid, called Rati. When the fish was 
presented to the demon Sambara, it was taken charge of by his cook, 
who was to make it into a palatable fish preparation. Demons and 



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Raksasas are accustomed to eat meat, fish and similar nonvegetarian 
foods. Demons like Ravana, Kamsa and Hiranyakasipu, although born of 
brdhmana and ksatriya fathers, used to take meat and flesh without 
discrimination. This practice is still prevalent in India, and those who 
eat meat and fish are generally called demons and Raksasas. 
When the cook was cutting the fish, he found within its stomach a nice 
baby, which he immediately presented to the charge of MayavatI, who 
was an assistant in the kitchen affairs. This woman was surprised to see 
how such a nice baby could remain within the belly of a fish, and the 
situation perplexed her. The great sage Narada then appeared and 
explained to her about the birth of Pradyumna and how the baby had 
been taken away by Sambara and later thrown into the sea. In this way 
the whole story was disclosed to MayavatI. MayavatI knew that she had 
previously been Rati, the wife of Cupid; after her husband was burned to 
ashes by the wrath of Lord Siva, she was always expecting him to come 
back in a material form. This woman was engaged for cooking rice and 
dhal in the kitchen, but when she got this nice baby and understood that 
he was Cupid, her own husband, she naturally took charge of him and 
with great affection began to bathe him regularly. Miraculously, the baby 
swiftly grew up, and within a very short period he became a beautiful 
young man. His eyes were just like the petals of lotus flowers, and his 
arms were long, down to his knees; any woman who happened to see him 
was captivated by his bodily beauty. 

MayavatI could understand that her former husband, Cupid, born as 
Pradyumna, had grown into such a nice young man, and she also 
gradually became captivated and lusty. Smiling before him with a 
feminine attractiveness, she expressed her desire for sexual union. He 
therefore inquired from her, "How is it possible that first you were 
affectionate like a mother and now you are expressing the symptoms of a 
lusty woman? What is the reason for such a change?" On hearing this 
statement from Pradyumna, the woman, Rati, replied, "My dear sir, you 
are the son of Lord Krsna. Before you were ten days old, you were stolen 
by the Sambara demon and later thrown into the water and swallowed 
by a fish. In this way you have come under my care, but actually, in your 
former life as Cupid, I was your wife; therefore, my manifestation of 
conjugal symptoms is not at all incompatible. Sambara wanted to kill 



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you, and he is endowed with various mystic powers. Therefore, before he 
again attempts to kill you, please kill him as soon as possible with your 
divine power. Since you were stolen by Sambara, your mother, Rukmini- 
devi, has been in a very grievous condition, like a kurarl bird who has 
lost her babies. She is very affectionate toward you, and since you have 
been taken away from her, she has been living like a cow aggrieved over 
the loss of its calf." 

Mayavati had mystic knowledge of supernatural powers. Supernatural 
powers are generally known as mdyd, and to surpass all such powers 
there is another supernatural power, called mahd-mdyd. Mayavati had 
the knowledge of the mystic power of mahd-mdyd, and she delivered to 
Pradyumna this specific energetic power in order to defeat the mystic 
powers of the Sambara demon. Thus being empowered by his wife, 
Pradyumna immediately went before Sambara and challenged him to 
fight. Pradyumna addressed him in very strong language, so that his 
temper would be agitated and he would be moved to fight. At 
Pradyumna's words, the demon Sambara, being insulted, felt just as a 
snake feels after being struck by someone's leg. A serpent cannot 
tolerate being kicked by another animal or by a man, and it immediately 
bites its opponent. 

Sambara felt the words of Pradyumna as if they were a kick. He 
immediately took his club in his hand and appeared before Pradyumna 
to fight. Roaring like a thundering cloud, in great anger the demon 
began to beat Pradyumna with his club, just as a thunderbolt beats a 
mountain. Pradyumna protected himself with his own club and 
eventually struck the demon very severely. In this way, the fighting 
between Sambarasura and Pradyumna began in earnest. 
But Sambarasura knew the art of mystic powers and could raise himself 
in the sky and fight from outer space. There is a demon of the name 
Maya, and Sambarasura had learned many mystic powers from him. He 
thus raised himself high in the sky and threw various types of nuclear 
weapons at the body of Pradyumna. To combat the mystic powers of 
Sambarasura, Pradyumna invoked another mystic power, known as 
mahdvidyd, which was different from the black mystic power. The 
mahdvidyd mystic power is based on the quality of goodness. Sambara, 
understanding that his enemy was formidable, took assistance from 



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various kinds of demoniac mystic powers belonging to the Guhyakas, the 
Gandharvas, the Pisacas, the snakes and the Raksasas. But although the 
demon exhibited his mystic powers and took shelter of supernatural 
strength, Pradyumna was able to counteract his strength and powers by 
the superior power of mahdvidyd. When Sambarasura was defeated in 
every respect, Pradyumna took his sharp sword and immediately cut off 
the demon's head, which was decorated with a helmet and valuable 
jewels. When Pradyumna thus killed the demon, all the demigods in the 
higher planetary systems showered flowers on him. 
Pradyumna's wife, Mayavati, could travel in outer space, and therefore 
they directly reached his father's capital, Dvaraka, by the airways. They 
passed above the palace of Lord Krsna and came down as a cloud comes 
down with lightning. The inner section of a palace is known as antah- 
pura (private apartments). Pradyumna and Mayavati could see many 
women there, and they sat down among them. When the women saw 
Pradyumna, dressed in yellowish garments, with very long arms, curling 
hair, beautiful reddish eyes, a smiling face, jewelry and ornaments, they 
at first could not recognize him as a personality different from Krsna. 
They all felt themselves very much bashful at the sudden presence of 
Krsna and wanted to hide in a different corner of the palace. 
When the women saw, however, that not all the characteristics of Krsna 
were present in the personality of Pradyumna, out of curiosity they came 
back to see him and his wife, Mayavati. All of them were conjecturing as 
to who he was, for he was so beautiful. Among the women was Rukmini- 
devi, who was equally beautiful, with her lotuslike eyes. Seeing 
Pradyumna, she naturally remembered her own son, and milk began to 
flow from her breasts out of motherly affection. She then began to 
wonder, "Who is this beautiful young boy? He appears to be the most 
beautiful person. Who is the fortunate young woman able to conceive 
this nice boy in her womb and become his mother? And who is that 
young woman who has accompanied him? How have they met? 
Remembering my own son, who was stolen from the maternity home, I 
can only guess that if he is living somewhere, he might have grown by 
this time to be like this boy." Simply by intuition, Rukmini could 
understand that Pradyumna was her own lost son. She could also observe 
that Pradyumna resembled Lord Krsna in every respect. She was struck 



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with wonder as to how he acquired all the symptoms of Krsna. She 
therefore began to think more confidently that the boy must be her own 
grown-up son because she felt so much affection for him, and, as an 
auspicious sign, her left arm was trembling. 

At that very moment, Lord Krsna, along with His father and mother, 
Devaki and Vasudeva, appeared on the scene. Krsna, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, could understand everything, yet in that 
situation He remained silent. However, by the desire of Lord Sri Krsna, 
the great sage Narada also appeared, and he disclosed all the incidents — 
how Pradyumna had been stolen from the maternity home and how he 
had grown up and had come there with his wife, Mayavati, who had 
formerly been Rati, the wife of Cupid. When everyone was informed of 
the mysterious disappearance of Pradyumna and how he had grown up, 
they were all struck with wonder because they had gotten back their 
dead son after they were almost hopeless of his return. When they 
understood that it was Pradyumna who was present, they received him 
with great delight. One after another, all of the members of the family — 
Devaki, Vasudeva, Lord Sri Krsna, Lord Balarama, RukminI and all the 
women of the family — embraced Pradyumna and his wife, Mayavati. 
When the news of Pradyumna's return spread all over the city of 
Dvaraka, all the astonished citizens came with great eagerness to see the 
lost Pradyumna. "The dead son has come back," they said. "What can be 
more pleasing than this?" 

Srlla Sukadeva GosvamI has explained that in the beginning all the 
ladies of the palace, who were all mothers and stepmothers of 
Pradyumna, mistook him to be Krsna and were all bashful, infected by 
the desire for conjugal love. The explanation is that Pradyumna's 
personal appearance was exactly like Krsna's, and he was factually Cupid 
himself. There was no cause for astonishment, therefore, when the 
mothers of Pradyumna and the other women mistook him in that way. It 
is clear from this statement that Pradyumna's bodily characteristics were 
so similar to Krsna's that he was mistaken for Krsna even by his mother. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fifty-fifth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Pradyumna Born to Krsna and Rukmini." 



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CHAPTER FIFTY-SIX 
The Story of the Syamantaka lewel 

There was a king of the name Satrajit within the jurisdiction of 
Dvaraka-dhama. He was a great devotee of the sun-god, who awarded 
him the benediction of a jewel known as Syamantaka. Because of this 
Syamantaka jewel, there was a misunderstanding between King Satrajit 
and the Yadu dynasty Later the matter was settled when Satrajit 
voluntarily offered Krsna his daughter, Satyabhama, along with the 
Syamantaka jewel. Not only Satyabhama but also JambavatI, the 
daughter of Jamba van, was married to Krsna on account of the 
Syamantaka jewel. These two marriages took place before the 
appearance of Pradyumna, as described in the last chapter. How King 
Satrajit offended the Yadu dynasty and how he later came to his senses 
and offered his daughter and the Syamantaka jewel to Krsna are 
described as follows. 

Since he was a great devotee of the sun-god, King Satrajit gradually 
entered into a very friendly relationship with him. The sun-god was 
pleased with him and delivered to him an exceptional jewel known as 
Syamantaka. When Satrajit wore this jewel in a locket around his neck, 
he appeared exactly like an imitation sun-god. Putting on this jewel, he 
entered the city of Dvaraka, and people thought that the sun-god had 
come into the city to see Krsna. They knew that Krsna, being the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, was sometimes visited by the 
demigods, so while Satrajit was visiting the city of Dvaraka all the 
inhabitants except Krsna took him to be the sun-god himself. Although 
King Satrajit was known to everyone, he could not be recognized 
because of the dazzling effulgence of the Syamantaka jewel. 
Mistaking Satrajit to be the sun-god, some of the important citizens of 
Dvaraka immediately went to Krsna to inform Him that the sun-god had 
arrived to see Him. At that time, Krsna was playing chess. One of the 
important residents of Dvaraka spoke thus: "My dear Lord Narayana, 
You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Your plenary portion as 
Narayana, or Visnu, You have four hands with different symbols — the 
conchshell, disc, club and lotus flower. You are actually the owner of 



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everything, but in spite of Your being the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, Narayana, You descended in Vrndavana to act as the child of 
Yasodamata, who sometimes used to tie You up with her ropes, and You 
are celebrated, therefore, by the name Damodara." 
That Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, as 
accepted by the citizens of Dvaraka, was later confirmed by the great 
Mayavadi philosophical leader Sankaracarya. By accepting the Lord as 
impersonal, he did not reject the Lord's personal form. Everything which 
has form in this material world is subject to creation, maintenance and 
annihilation, but because the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
Narayana, does not have a material form subject to these limitations, 
Sankaracarya, to convince the less intelligent men who take Krsna to be 
an ordinary human being, said that God is impersonal. This 
impersonality means that He is not a person of this material condition. 
He is a transcendental personality without a material body. 
The citizens of Dvaraka addressed Lord Krsna not only as Damodara but 
also as Govinda, which indicates that Krsna is very affectionate to the 
cows and calves; and just to refer to their intimate connection with 
Krsna, they addressed Him as Yadunandana because He was born the 
son of Vasudeva in the Yadu dynasty. In this way, the citizens of 
Dvaraka concluded by addressing Krsna as the supreme master of the 
whole universe. They addressed Krsna in many different ways, proud of 
being citizens of Dvaraka who could see Krsna daily. 
When Satrajit was visiting the city of Dvaraka, the citizens felt great 
pride to think that although Krsna was living in Dvaraka like an 
ordinary human being, the demigods were coming to see Him. Thus they 
informed Lord Krsna that the sun-god, with his glaring bodily 
effulgence, was coming to see Him. The citizens of Dvaraka confirmed 
that the sun-god's coming into Dvaraka was not very wonderful, because 
people all over the universe who were searching after the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead knew that He had appeared in the Yadu dynasty 
and was living in Dvaraka as one of the members of that family. Thus 
the citizens expressed their joy on this occasion. On hearing the 
statements of His citizens, the all-pervasive Personality of Godhead, 
Krsna, simply smiled. Being pleased with the citizens of Dvaraka, Krsna 
informed them that the person they described as the sun-god was 



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actually King Satrajit, who had come to visit Dvaraka City to show his 
opulence in the form of the valuable jewel obtained from the sun-god. 
Satrajit, however, did not come to see Krsna; he was instead 
overwhelmed by the Syamantaka jewel. He installed the jewel in a 
temple to be worshiped by brahmanas he engaged for this purpose. This 
is an example of a less intelligent person worshiping a material thing. In 
the Bhagavad-gita it is stated that less intelligent persons, in order to get 
immediate results from their fruitive activities, worship the demigods 
created within this universe. The word materialist means one concerned 
with gratification of the senses within this material world. Although 
Krsna later asked for this Syamantaka jewel, King Satrajit did not 
deliver it; on the contrary, he installed the jewel for his own purposes of 
worship. And who would not worship that jewel? The Syamantaka jewel 
was so powerful that daily it produced a large quantity of gold. A 
quantity of gold is counted by a measurement called a bhara. According 
to Vedic formulas, one bhara is equal to about twenty-one pounds, and 
one mound equals about eighty-two pounds. The jewel was producing 
about 170 pounds of gold every day. Besides that, it is learned from Vedic 
literature that in whatever part of the world this jewel was worshiped 
there was no possibility of famine, and wherever the jewel was present, 
there was no possibility of anything inauspicious, such as pestilence. 
Lord Krsna wanted to teach the world that the best of everything should 
be offered to the ruling chief of the country. King Ugrasena was the 
overlord of many dynasties and happened to be the grandfather of 
Krsna, so Krsna asked Satrajit to present the Syamantaka jewel to King 
Ugrasena. Krsna pleaded that the best should be offered to the King. But 
Satrajit, being a worshiper of the demigods, had become too materialistic 
and, instead of accepting the request of Krsna, thought it wiser to 
worship the jewel to get the 170 pounds of gold every day. Materialistic 
persons who can achieve such huge quantities of gold are not interested 
in Krsna consciousness. Sometimes, therefore, to show special favor, 
Krsna takes away one's great accumulations of materialistic wealth and 
thus makes one a great devotee. But Satrajit refused to abide by the 
order of Krsna and did not deliver the jewel. 

After this incident, Satrajit's younger brother, in order to display the 
opulence of the family, took the jewel, put it on his neck and rode on 



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horseback into the forest, making a show of his material opulence. While 
Satrajit's brother, who was known as Prasena, was moving here and 
there in the forest, a big lion attacked him, killing both him and the 
horse on which he was riding, and took away the jewel to his cave. News 
of this was received by the gorilla king, Jambavan, who then killed that 
lion in the cave and took away the jewel. Jambavan had been a great 
devotee of the Lord since the time of Lord Ramacandra, so he did not 
take the valuable jewel as something he very much needed. He gave it to 
his young son to play with as a toy. 

In the city, when Satrajit's younger brother Prasena did not return from 
the forest with the jewel, Satrajit became very upset. He did not know 
that his brother had been killed by a lion and that the lion had been 
killed by Jambavan. He thought instead that because Krsna wanted that 
jewel, which had not been delivered to Him, Krsna might have therefore 
taken the jewel from Prasena by force and killed him. This idea grew 
into a rumor, which Satrajit spread in every part of Dvaraka. 
The false rumor that Krsna had killed Prasena and taken away the jewel 
spread everywhere like wildfire. Krsna did not like to be defamed in that 
way, and therefore He decided that He would go to the forest and find 
the Syamantaka jewel. Taking with Him some of the important 
inhabitants of Dvaraka, Krsna went to search out Prasena, the brother 
of Satrajit, and found him dead, killed by the lion. At the same time, 
Krsna also found the lion killed by Jambavan, who is generally called 
Rksa. It was found that the lion had been killed by the hand of Rksa 
without the assistance of any weapon. Krsna and the citizens of Dvaraka 
then found in the forest a great tunnel, said to be the path to Rksa's 
house. Krsna knew that the inhabitants of Dvaraka would be afraid to 
enter the tunnel; therefore He asked them to remain outside, and He 
Himself entered the dark tunnel alone to find Rksa, Jambavan. After 
entering the tunnel, Krsna saw that the valuable jewel known as 
Syamantaka had been given to the son of Rksa as a toy. To take the 
jewel from the child, Krsna approached and stood before him. When the 
nurse taking care of Rksa's child saw Krsna standing before her, she was 
afraid, thinking He might take away the valuable Syamantaka jewel, and 
she cried loudly out of fear. 
Hearing the nurse crying, Jambavan appeared on the scene in a very 



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angry mood. Jambavan was actually a great devotee of Lord Krsna, but 
because he was angry he could not recognize his master and thought 
Him to be an ordinary man. This brings to mind the statement of the 
Bhagavad-gltd in which the Lord advises Arjuna to get free from anger, 
greed and lust in order to rise to the spiritual platform. Lust, anger and 
greed run parallel in the heart and check one's progress on the spiritual 
path. 

Not recognizing his master, Jambavan challenged Him to fight. There 
was then a great fight between Krsna and Jambavan, in which they 
fought like two opposing vultures. Whenever there is an eatable corpse 
the vultures fight heartily over the prey. Krsna and Jambavan first of all 
fought with weapons, then with stones, then with big trees, then hand to 
hand, until at last they were hitting each other with their fists, their 
blows like the striking of thunderbolts. Each expected victory over the 
other, but the fighting continued for twenty-eight days, both in daytime 
and at night, without stopping. 

Although Jambavan was the strongest living entity of that time, 
practically all the joints of his bodily limbs became slackened and his 
strength was reduced practically to nil, for he was struck constantly by 
the fists of Sri Krsna. Feeling very tired, with perspiration all over his 
body, Jambavan was astonished. Who was this opponent who was 
fighting so hard with him? Jambavan was quite aware of his own 
superhuman bodily strength, but when he felt tired from being struck by 
Krsna, he could understand that Krsna was no one else but his 
worshipable Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This incident 
has special significance for devotees. In the beginning, Jambavan could 
not understand Krsna because his vision was obscured by material 
attachment. He was attached to his boy and to the greatly valuable 
Syamantaka jewel, which he did not want to spare for Krsna. In fact, 
when Krsna came there he was angry, thinking that Krsna had come to 
take away the jewel. This is the material position: although one is very 
strong in body, that cannot help him understand Krsna. 
In a sporting attitude, Krsna wanted to engage in a mock fight with His 
devotee. As we have experienced from the pages of Srlmad-Bhdgavatam, 
the Supreme Personality of Godhead has all the propensities and 
instincts of a human being. Sometimes, in a sportive spirit, He wishes to 



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fight to make a show of bodily strength, and when He so desires, He 
selects one of His suitable devotees to give Him that pleasure. Krsna 
desired this pleasure of mock fighting with Jambavan. Although 
Jambavan was a devotee by nature, he was without knowledge of Krsna 
while giving service to the Lord by his bodily strength. But as soon as 
Krsna was pleased by the fighting, Jambavan immediately understood 
that his opponent was none other than the Supreme Lord Himself. The 
conclusion is that he could understand Krsna by his service, for Krsna is 
sometimes satisfied by fighting also. 

Jambavan therefore said to the Lord, "My dear Lord, I can now 
understand who You are. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
Lord Visnu, the source of everyone's strength, wealth, reputation, 
beauty, wisdom and renunciation." This statement of Jambavan's is 
confirmed by the Veddnta-sutra, wherein the Supreme Lord is declared 
to be the source of everything. Jambavan identified Lord Krsna as the 
Supreme Personality, Lord Visnu: "My dear Lord, You are the creator of 
the creators of the universal affairs." This statement is very instructive 
to the ordinary man, who is amazed by the activities of a person with an 
exceptional brain. The ordinary man is surprised to see the inventions of 
a great scientist, but the statement of Jambavan confirms that although 
a scientist may be a creator of many wonderful things, Krsna is the 
creator of the scientist. He is the creator of not only one scientist but of 
millions and trillions, all over the universe. Jambavan said further, "Not 
only are You the creator of the creators, but You are also the creator of 
the material elements which the so-called creators manipulate." 
Scientists utilize the physical elements or laws of material nature to do 
something wonderful, but actually such laws and elements are also the 
creation of Krsna. This is actual scientific understanding. Less 
intelligent men do not try to understand who created the brain of the 
scientist; they are satisfied simply to see the wonderful creation or 
invention of the scientist. 

Jambavan continued, "My dear Lord, the time factor, which combines all 
the physical elements, is also Your representative. You are the supreme 
time factor, in which all creation takes place, is maintained and is finally 
annihilated. And beyond the physical elements and the time factor, the 
persons who manipulate the ingredients and advantages of creation are 



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168 



part and parcel of You. The living entity is not, therefore, an 
independent creator. By studying all factors in the right perspective, one 
can see that You are the supreme controller and Lord of everything. My 
dear Lord, I can therefore understand that You are the same Supreme 
Personality of Godhead whom I worship as Lord Ramacandra. My Lord 
Ramacandra wanted to construct a bridge over the ocean, and I saw 
personally how the ocean became agitated simply by my Lord's glancing 
over it. And when the whole ocean became agitated, the living entities 
like the whales, alligators and timingila fish all became perturbed. [The 
timingila fish in the ocean can swallow big aquatics like whales in one 
gulp.] In this way the ocean was forced to give way and allow 
Ramacandra to cross to the island known as Lanka [now supposed to be 
Ceylon. This construction of a bridge over the ocean from Cape 
Comorin to Ceylon is still well known to everyone.] After the 
construction of the bridge, a fire was set all over the kingdom of Ravana. 
During the fighting with Ravana, every part of his limbs was slashed to 
pieces by Your sharp arrows, and his heads fell to the face of the earth. 
Now I can understand that You are none other than my Lord 
Ramacandra. No one else has such immeasurable strength; no one else 
could defeat me in this way." 

Lord Krsna was satisfied by the prayers and statements of Jambavan, and 
to mitigate Jambavan's pain, He began to stroke the lotus palm of His 
hand all over Jambavan's body. Thus Jambavan at once felt relieved 
from the fatigue of the great fight. Lord Krsna then addressed him as 
King Jambavan because he, and not the lion, was actually the king of the 
forest, having killed the lion with his bare hands, without a weapon. 
Krsna informed Jambavan that He had come to ask for the Syamantaka 
jewel because ever since the Syamantaka jewel had been stolen His 
name had been defamed by the less intelligent. Krsna plainly informed 
him that He had come there to ask for the jewel in order to be free from 
this defamation. Jambavan understood the whole situation, and to satisfy 
the Lord he immediately delivered not only the Syamantaka jewel but 
also his daughter Jambavati, who was of marriageable age, and presented 
her to Lord Krsna. 

The episode of Jamba vatl's marriage with Krsna and the delivery of the 
jewel known as Syamantaka was finished within the mountain cave. 



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Although the fighting between Krsna and Jambavan went on for 
twenty-eight days, the inhabitants of Dvaraka waited outside the tunnel 
for twelve days, and after that they decided that something undesirable 
must have happened. They could not understand for certain what had 
actually happened, and being very sorry and tired they returned to the 
city of Dvaraka. 

All the members of the family, namely Krsna's mother, Devaki, His 
father, Vasudeva, and His chief wife, Rukmini, along with all other 
friends, relatives and residents of the palace, were very sorry when the 
citizens returned home without Krsna. Because of their natural affection 
for Krsna, they began to call Satrajit ill names, for he was the cause of 
Krsna's disappearance. They went to worship the goddess Candrabhaga, 
praying for the return of Krsna. The goddess was satisfied by the prayers 
of the citizens of Dvaraka, and she immediately offered them her 
benediction. Simultaneously, Krsna appeared on the scene, accompanied 
by His new wife, Jambavati, and all the inhabitants of Dvaraka and 
relatives of Krsna became joyful. The inhabitants of Dvaraka were as 
joyful as someone receiving a dear relative back from the dead. They had 
concluded that Krsna had been put into great difficulties due to the 
fighting; therefore, they had become almost hopeless of His return. But 
when they saw that Krsna had actually returned, not alone but with a 
new wife, Jambavati, they immediately performed a ceremony of 
celebration. 

King Ugrasena then called for a meeting of all important kings and 
chiefs. He also invited Satrajit, and Krsna explained before the whole 
assembly the incident of the recovery of the jewel from Jambavan. Krsna 
wanted to return the valuable jewel to King Satrajit. Satrajit, however, 
was ashamed because he had unnecessarily defamed Krsna. He accepted 
the jewel in his hand, but he remained silent, bending his head 
downwards, and without saying anything in the assembly of the kings 
and chiefs, he returned home with the jewel. Then he thought about 
how he could clear himself of the abominable act he had performed by 
defaming Krsna. He was conscious that he had offended Krsna very 
grievously and that he had to find a remedial measure so that Krsna 
would again be pleased with him. 
King Satrajit was eager to get relief from the anxiety he had foolishly 



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created due to being attracted by a material thing, specifically the 
Syamantaka jewel. Truly afflicted by the offense he had committed 
against Krsna, he sincerely wanted to rectify it. From within, Krsna gave 
him good intelligence, and Satrajit decided to hand over to Krsna both 
the jewel and his beautiful daughter, Satyabhama. There was no 
alternative for mitigating the situation, and therefore he arranged the 
marriage ceremony of Krsna and his daughter. He gave in charity both 
the jewel and his daughter to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 
Satyabhama was so beautiful and qualified that Satrajit, in spite of being 
asked for her hand by many princes, was waiting to find a suitable son- 
in-law. By the grace of Krsna he decided to hand his daughter over to 
Him. 

Lord Krsna, being pleased with Satrajit, informed him that He did not 
have any need of the Syamantaka jewel. "It is better to let it remain in 
the temple as you have kept it," He said, "and every one of us will derive 
benefit from the jewel. Because of the jewel's presence in the city of 
Dvaraka, there will be no more famines or disturbances created by 
pestilence or excessive heat and cold." 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fifty-sixth Chapter of Krsna, 
"The Story of the Syamantaka fewel." 



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CHAPTER FIFTY-SEVEN 
The Killing of Satrajit and Satadhanva 

After Akrura visited Hastinapura and reported the condition of the 
Pandavas to Krsna, there were further developments The Pandavas were 
transferred to a house which was made of lac and was later set ablaze, 
and everyone believed that the Pandavas, along with their mother, 
Kunti, had been killed. This information was also sent to Lord Krsna 
and Balarama. After consulting together, They decided to go to 
Hastinapura to show sympathy to Their relatives. Krsna and Balarama 
certainly knew that the Pandavas could not have been killed in the 
devastating fire, but in spite of this knowledge They wanted to go to 
Hastinapura to take part in the bereavement. On arriving in 
Hastinapura, Krsna and Balarama first went to see Bhlsmadeva because 
he was the chief of the Kuru dynasty. They then saw Krpacarya, Vidura, 
Gandhari and Drona. Other members of the Kuru dynasty were not 
sorry, because they wanted the Pandavas and their mother to be killed. 
But some family members, headed by Bhlsma, were actually very sorry 
for the incident, and Krsna and Balarama expressed equal sorrow, 
without disclosing the actual situation. 

When Krsna and Balarama were away from the city of Dvaraka, there 
was a conspiracy to take the Syamantaka jewel away from Satrajit. The 
chief conspirator was Satadhanva, who was among those who had 
wanted to marry Satyabhama, Satrajit's beautiful daughter. Satrajit had 
promised that he would give his beautiful daughter in charity to various 
candidates, but later the decision was changed, and Satyabhama was 
given to Krsna along with the Syamantaka jewel. Satrajit had no desire 
to give the jewel away with his daughter, and Krsna, knowing his 
mentality, accepted his daughter but returned the jewel. After getting 
back the jewel from Krsna, he was satisfied and kept it with him always. 
But in the absence of Krsna and Balarama there was a conspiracy by 
many men, including even Akrura and Krtavarma, who were devotees of 
Lord Krsna, to take the jewel from Satrajit. Akrura and Krtavarma 
joined the conspiracy because they wanted the jewel for Krsna. They 
knew that Krsna wanted the jewel and that Satrajit had not delivered it 



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properly. Others joined the conspiracy because they were disappointed 
in not having the hand of Satyabhama. Some of them incited 
Satadhanva to kill Satrajit and take away the jewel. 
The question is generally raised, Why did a great devotee like Akrura 
join this conspiracy? And why did Krtavarma, although a devotee of the 
Lord, join the conspiracy also? The answer given by great authorities 
like Jiva Gosvami is that although Akrura was a great devotee, he was 
cursed by the inhabitants of Vrndavana because of his taking Krsna 
away from their midst. Because of wounding their feelings, Akrura was 
forced to join the conspiracy declared by sinful men. Similarly, 
Krtavarma was a devotee, but because of his intimate association with 
Karhsa, he was contaminated by sinful reactions, and he also joined the 
conspiracy. 

Being inspired by all the members of the conspiracy, Satadhanva one 
night entered the house of Satrajit and killed him while he was sleeping. 
Satadhanva was a sinful man of abominable character, and although due 
to his sinful activities he was not to live for many days, he decided to kill 
Satrajit while Satrajit was sleeping at home. When he entered the house 
to kill Satrajit, all the women there cried very loudly, but in spite of 
their great protests, Satadhanva mercilessly butchered Satrajit without 
hesitation, exactly as a butcher kills an animal in the slaughterhouse. 
Since Krsna was absent from home, His wife Satyabhama was also 
present on the night Satrajit was murdered, and she began to cry, "My 
dear father! My dear father! How mercilessly you have been killed!" The 
dead body of Satrajit was not immediately removed for cremation 
because Satyabhama wanted to go to Krsna in Hastinapura. Therefore 
the body was preserved in a tank of oil so that Krsna could come back 
and see the dead body of Satrajit and take real action against 
Satadhanva. Satyabhama immediately started for Hastinapura to inform 
Krsna about the ghastly death of her father. 

When Krsna was informed by Satyabhama of the murder of His father- 
in-law, He began to lament like an ordinary man. His great sorrow is, 
again, a strange thing. Lord Krsna has nothing to do with action and 
reaction, but because He was playing the part of a human being, He 
expressed His full sympathy for the bereavement of Satyabhama, and 
His eyes filled with tears when He heard about the death of His father- 



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173 



in-law. He thus began to lament, "Oh, what unhappy incidents have 
taken place!" Then Krsna and Balarama, along with Satyabhama, 
immediately returned to Dvaraka and began to make plans to kill 
Satadhanva and take away the jewel. Although he was a great outlaw in 
the city, Satadhanva was still very much afraid of Krsna's power, and 
thus when Krsna arrived he became most afraid. 
Understanding Krsna's plan to kill him, he immediately went to take 
shelter of Krtavarma. But Krtavarma said, "I shall never be able to 
offend Lord Krsna and Balarama, for They are not ordinary persons. 
They are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Who can be saved from 
death if he has offended Balarama and Krsna? No one can be saved from 
Their wrath." Krtavarma further said that Karhsa, although powerful 
and assisted by many demons, could not be saved from Krsna's wrath, 
and what to speak of Jarasandha, who had been defeated by Krsna 
seventeen times and each time had to return from the fighting in 
disappointment. 

When Satadhanva was refused help by Krtavarma, he went to Akrura 
and implored him to help. But Akrura also replied, "Balarama and Krsna 
are Themselves the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and anyone who 
knows Their unlimited strength would never dare offend Them or fight 
with Them." He further informed Satadhanva, "Krsna and Balarama are 
so powerful that simply by willing They create, maintain and dissolve 
the whole cosmic manifestation. Unfortunately, persons bewildered by 
the illusory energy cannot understand the strength of Krsna, although 
the whole cosmic manifestation is fully under His control." He cited, as 
an example, that Krsna, even at the age of seven years, had lifted 
Govardhana Hill and had continued to hold up the mountain for seven 
days, exactly as a child carries a small umbrella. Akrura plainly informed 
Satadhanva that he would always offer his most respectful obeisances to 
Krsna, the Supersoul of everything created and the original cause of all 
causes. When Akrura also refused to give him shelter, Satadhanva 
decided to deliver to the hands of Akrura the Syamantaka jewel. Then, 
riding on a horse which could run at great speed and up to four hundred 
miles at a stretch, he fled the city. 

When Krsna and Balarama were informed of the flight of Satadhanva, 
They mounted Their chariot, its flag marked by a picture of Garuda, and 



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followed immediately. Krsna was particularly angry with Satadhanva 
and wanted to kill him because he had killed Satrajit, a superior 
personality. Satrajit happened to be the father-in-law of Krsna, and it is 
the injunction of the sdstras that one who is guru-druha, who has 
rebelled against a superior person, must be punished in proportion to the 
severity of the offense. Because Satadhanva had killed His father-in-law, 
Krsna was determined to kill him by any means. 

Satadhanva's horse became exhausted and died near a garden house in 
Mithila. Unable to take help of the horse, Satadhanva began to run with 
great speed. In order to be fair to Satadhanva, Krsna and Balarama also 
left Their chariot and began to follow Satadhanva on foot. While 
Satadhanva and Krsna were running, Krsna took His disc and cut off 

s s 

Satadhanva's head. After Satadhanva was killed, Krsna searched 
through his clothing for the Syamantaka jewel, but He could not find it. 
He then returned to Balarama and said, "We have killed this person 
uselessly, for the jewel is not to be found on his body." Sri Balarama 
suggested, "The jewel might have been kept in the custody of another 
man in Dvaraka, so You'd better return and search it out." Sri Balarama 
expressed His desire to remain in Mithila City for some days because He 
enjoyed an intimate friendship with the King. Therefore, Krsna 
returned to Dvaraka, and Balarama entered the city of Mithila. 
When the King of Mithila saw the arrival of Sri Balarama in his city, he 
was most pleased and received the Lord with great honor and 
hospitality. He gave many valuable presents to Balaramaji in order to 
seek His pleasure. At this time Sri Balarama lived in the city for several 
years as the honored guest of the King of Mithila, Janaka Maharaja. 
During this time, Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhrtarastra, took the 
opportunity to come to Balarama and learn from Him the art of fighting 
with a club. 

After killing Satadhanva, Krsna returned to Dvaraka, and in order to 
please His wife Satyabhama, He informed her of the death of 
Satadhanva, the killer of her father. But He also informed her that the 
jewel had not been found in his possession. Then, according to religious 
principles, Krsna, along with Satyabhama, performed ceremonies in 
honor of His departed father-in-law. In those ceremonies all the friends 
and relatives of the family joined together. 



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Akrura and Krtavarma were prominent members in the conspiracy to 
kill Satrajit, having incited Satadhanva to kill him. So when they heard 
of the death of Satadhanva at Krsna's hand, and when they heard also 
that Krsna had returned to Dvaraka, they both immediately left the city. 
The citizens of Dvaraka felt themselves threatened with pestilence and 
natural disturbances due to the absence of Akrura from the city. This 
was a kind of superstition, because while Lord Krsna was present there 
could not be any pestilence, famine or natural disturbances. But in the 
absence of Akrura there were apparently some disturbances in Dvaraka. 
The superstition arose for the following reason: Once in the province of 
Kasi (Varanasi) there was severe drought — practically no rain fell. At 
that time the King of Kasi arranged the marriage of his daughter, known 
as Gandini, with Svaphalka, the father of Akrura. This was done by the 
King of Kasi on the advice of an astrologer, and actually it so happened 
that after the marriage of the King's daughter with Svaphalka there was 
sufficient rainfall in the province. Due to this supernatural power of 
Svaphalka, his son Akrura was also considered equally powerful, and 
people were under the impression that wherever Akrura or his father 
stayed, there would be no natural disturbances, such as famine or 
drought. That kingdom is considered happy where there is no famine, 
pestilence or excessive heat and cold and where people are happy 
mentally, spiritually and physically. As soon as there was some 
disturbance in Dvaraka, people considered the cause to be the absence of 
an auspicious personality in the city. Thus there was a rumor that 
because of the absence of Akrura inauspicious things were happening. 
After the departure of Akrura, some of the elder residents of the city 
also began to perceive inauspicious signs due to the absence of the 
Syamantaka jewel. When Lord Sri Krsna heard these rumors spread by 
the people, He decided to summon Akrura from the kingdom of Kasi. 
Akrura was Krsna's uncle; therefore, when he came back to Dvaraka, 
Lord Krsna first of all gave him a welcome befitting a superior person. 
Krsna is the Supersoul in everyone and knows everything going on in 
everyone's heart. He knew everything that had happened in connection 
with Akrura's conspiracy with Satadhanva. Therefore, He smilingly 
began to speak to Akrura. Addressing him as the chief among 
munificent men, Krsna said, "My dear uncle, it is already known to Me 



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that the Syamantaka jewel was left by Satadhanva with you. Presently 
there is no direct claimant of the Syamantaka jewel, for King Satrajit 
has no male issue. His daughter Satyabhama is not very eager for this 
jewel, yet her expected son, as a grandson of Satrajit, would, after 
performing the regulative principles of inheritance, be the legal 
claimant of the jewel." Lord Krsna indicated by this statement that 
Satyabhama was already pregnant and that her son would be the real 
claimant of the jewel and would certainly take the jewel from Akrura. 
Krsna continued, "This jewel is so powerful that no ordinary man is able 
to keep it. I know that you are very pious in activities, so there is no 
objection to the jewel's being kept with you. There is one difficulty, and 
that is that My elder brother, Sri Balarama, does not believe My version 
that the jewel is with you. I therefore request you, O large-hearted one, 
to show Me the jewel just once before My other relatives so that they 
may be pacified and reject various kinds of rumors. You cannot deny 
that the jewel is with you because we can understand that you have 
enhanced your opulence and are performing sacrifices on an altar made 
of solid gold." The properties of the jewel were known: wherever the 
jewel remained, it would produce for the keeper more than two mounds 
of pure gold daily. Akrura was getting gold in that proportion and 
distributing it profusely at sacrificial performances. Lord Krsna cited 
Akrura's lavishly spending gold as positive evidence of his possessing the 
Syamantaka jewel. 

When Lord Krsna, in friendly terms and sweet language, impressed 
Akrura about the real fact and Akrura understood that nothing could be 
concealed from the knowledge of Sri Krsna, he brought out the valuable 
jewel, covered by cloth but shining like the sun, and presented it before 
Krsna. Lord Krsna took the Syamantaka jewel in His hand and showed it 
to all His relatives and friends present and then returned the jewel to 
Akrura in their presence, so that they would know that the jewel was 
actually being kept by Akrura in Dvaraka City. 
This story of the Syamantaka jewel is very significant. In Srlmad- 
Bhdgavatam it is said that anyone who hears the story of the 
Syamantaka jewel or describes it or simply remembers it will be free from 
all kinds of defamation and the reactions of all impious activities and 
thus will attain the highest perfectional condition of peace. 



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Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fifty-seventh Chapter of 
Krsna, "The Killing of Satrajit and Satadhanva." 



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178 



CHAPTER FIFTY-EIGHT 
Five Queens Married by Krsna 

As mentioned in the last chapter, there was a great rumor that the five 
Pandava brothers, along with their mother, Kunti, had died, according 
to the plan of the sons of Dhrtarastra, in a fire accident in the house of 
lac in which they were living. But then the five brothers were detected 
at the marriage ceremony of Draupadi, so another rumor spread that the 
Pandavas and their mother were not dead. It was a rumor, but actually it 
was so; they returned to their capital city, Hastinapura, and people saw 
them face to face. When this news was carried to Krsna and Balarama, 
Krsna wanted to see them personally, and therefore He decided to go to 
Hastinapura. 

This time Krsna visited Hastinapura in state, as a royal prince, 
accompanied by His commander in chief, Yuyudhana, and by many 
other soldiers. He had not actually been invited to visit the city, yet He 
went to see the Pandavas out of His affection for His great devotees. He 
visited the Pandavas without warning, and all of them got up from their 
respective seats as soon as they saw Him. Krsna is called Mukunda 
because as soon as one comes in constant touch with Krsna or sees Him 
in full Krsna consciousness one immediately becomes freed from all 
material anxieties. Not only that, but one is immediately blessed with all 
spiritual bliss. 

Receiving Krsna, the Pandavas were enlivened, just as if awakened from 
unconsciousness or loss of life. When a man is lying unconscious, his 
senses and the different parts of his body are inactive, but when he 
regains his consciousness the senses immediately become active. 
Similarly, the Pandavas received Krsna as if they had just regained their 
consciousness, and so they were very much enlivened. Lord Krsna 
embraced every one of them, and by the touch of the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead the Pandavas immediately became freed from all 
reactions of material contamination and were therefore smiling in 
spiritual bliss. By seeing the face of Lord Krsna, everyone was 
transcendentally satisfied. Lord Krsna, although the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, was playing the part of an ordinary human 



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179 



being, and thus He immediately touched the feet of Yudhisthira and 
Bhima because they were His two older cousins. Arjuna embraced Krsna 
as a friend of the same age, whereas the two younger brothers, namely 
Nakula and Sahadeva, touched the lotus feet of Krsna to show Him 
respect. After an exchange of greetings according to the social etiquette 
befitting the position of the Pandavas and Lord Krsna, Krsna was 
offered an exalted seat. When He was comfortably seated, the newly 
married Draupadl, young and very beautiful in her natural feminine 
gracefulness, came before Lord Krsna to offer her respectful greetings. 
The Yadavas who accompanied Krsna to Hastinapura were also very 
respectfully received; specifically, Satyaki, or Yuyudhana, was also 
offered a nice seat. In this way, when everyone else was properly seated, 
the five brothers took their seats near Lord Krsna. 
After meeting with the five brothers, Lord Krsna personally went to 
visit SrimatI Kuntidevi, the mother of the Pandavas, who was also 
Krsna's paternal aunt. In offering His respects to His aunt, Krsna also 
touched her feet. Kuntidevi's eyes became wet, and, in great love, she 
feelingly embraced Lord Krsna. She then inquired from Him about the 
well-being of her paternal family members — her brother Vasudeva, his 
wife and other members of the family. Similarly, Krsna also inquired 
from His aunt about the welfare of the Pandava family. Although 
Kuntidevi was related to Krsna by family ties, she knew immediately 
after meeting Him that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She 
remembered the past calamities of her life and how by the grace of 
Krsna she and her sons, the Pandavas, had been saved. She knew 
perfectly well that no one, without Krsna's grace, could have saved them 
from the fire "accident" designed by the sons of Dhrtarastra. In a 
choked-up voice, she began to narrate before Krsna the history of their 
life. 

Srimati Kunti said, "My dear Krsna, I remember the day when You sent 
my brother Akrura to gather information about us. This means that You 
always remember us automatically. When You sent Akrura, I could 
understand that there was no possibility of our being put in danger. All 
good fortune in our life began when You sent Akrura to us. Since then, I 
have been convinced that we are not without protection. We may be put 
into various types of dangerous conditions by our family members, the 



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Kurus, but I am confident that You remember us and always keep us safe 
and sound. Even ordinary devotees who simply think of You are always 
immune to all kinds of material danger, and what to speak of ourselves, 
who are personally remembered by You. So, my dear Krsna, there is no 
question of bad luck; we are always in an auspicious position because of 
Your grace. But because You have bestowed a special favor on us, people 
should not mistakenly think that You are partial to some and inattentive 
to others. You make no such distinction. No one is Your favorite and no 
one is Your enemy. As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are 
equal to everyone, and everyone can take advantage of Your special 
protection. The fact is that although You are equal to everyone, You are 
especially inclined to the devotees who always think of You. The 
devotees are related to You by ties of love. As such, they cannot forget 
You even for a moment. You are present in everyone's heart, but because 
the devotees always remember You, You respond accordingly. Although 
the mother has affection for all the children, she takes special care of 
the one who is fully dependent. I know certainly, my dear Krsna, that 
being seated in everyone's heart, You always create auspicious situations 
for Your unalloyed devotees." 

Then King Yudhisthira also praised Krsna as the Supreme Personality 
and universal friend of everyone, but because Krsna was taking special 
care of the Pandavas, King Yudhisthira said, "My dear Krsna, we do not 
know what sort of pious activities we have executed in our past lives that 
have made You so kind and gracious to us. We know very well that the 
great mystics who always engage in meditation to capture You do not 
find it easy to obtain such grace, nor can they draw any personal 
attention from You. I cannot understand why You are so kind to us. We 
are not yogis; on the contrary, we are attached to material 
contaminations. We are householders dealing in politics, worldly affairs. 
I do not know why You are so kind to us." 
Being requested by King Yudhisthira, Krsna agreed to stay in 
Hastinapura for four months during the rainy season. The four months 
of the rainy season are called Caturmasya. During this period, the 
generally itinerant preachers and brdhmanas stop at a certain place and 
live under rigid regulative principles. Although Lord Krsna is above all 
regulative principles, He agreed to stay at Hastinapura out of affection 



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181 



for the Pandavas. Taking this opportunity of Krsna's residence in 
Hastinapura, all the citizens of the city got the privilege of seeing Him 
now and then, and thus they merged into transcendental bliss simply by 
seeing Lord Krsna face to face. 

One day while Krsna was staying with the Pandavas, He and Arjuna 
prepared themselves to go to the forest to hunt. Both of them sat down 
on Arjuna's chariot, which flew a flag with a picture of Hanuman. 
Arjuna's special chariot is always marked with the picture of Hanuman, 
and therefore he is also named Kapidhvaja. (Kapi means Hanuman, and 
dhvaja means "flag.") Thus Arjuna prepared to go to the forest with his 
bow and infallible arrows. He dressed himself with suitable protective 
garments, for he was to practice for the time when he would be killing 
many enemies on the battlefield. He specifically entered that part of the 
forest where there were many tigers, deer and various other animals. 
Krsna did not go with Arjuna to practice animal killing, for He doesn't 
have to practice anything; He is self-sufficient. He accompanied Arjuna 
to see how he was practicing because in the future he would have to kill 
many enemies. After entering the forest, Arjuna killed many tigers, 
boars, bison, gavayas (a kind of wild animal), rhinoceroses, deer, hares, 
porcupines and similar other animals, which he pierced with his arrows. 
Some of the dead animals that were fit to be offered in sacrifices were 
carried by servants and sent to King Yudhisthira. Other ferocious 
animals, such as tigers and rhinoceroses, were killed only to stop 
disturbances in the forest. Since there are many sages and saintly 
persons who are residents of the forest, it is the duty of the ksatriya kings 
to keep even the forest in a peaceful condition for living. 
Arjuna felt tired and thirsty from hunting, and therefore he went to the 
bank of the Yamuna along with Krsna. When both the Krsnas, namely 
Krsna and Arjuna, reached the bank of the Yamuna (Arjuna is 
sometimes called Krsna, as is Draupadi), they washed their hands, feet 
and mouths and drank the clear water of the Yamuna. While resting and 
drinking water, they saw a beautiful girl of marriageable age walking 
alone on the bank of the Yamuna. Krsna asked His friend Arjuna to go 
forward and ask the girl who she was. By the order of Krsna, Arjuna 
immediately approached the girl, who was very beautiful. She had an 
attractive body, nice, glittering teeth and a smiling face. Arjuna 



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inquired, "My dear girl, you are so beautiful with your raised breasts — 
may I ask you who you are? We are surprised to see you loitering here 
alone. What is your purpose in coming here? We can guess only that you 
are searching after a suitable husband. If you don't mind, you can 
disclose your purpose. I shall try to satisfy you." 

The beautiful girl was the river Yamuna personified. She replied, "Sir, I 
am the daughter of the sun-god, and I am now performing penance and 
austerity to have Lord Visnu as my husband. I think He is the Supreme 
Person and just suitable to become my husband. I disclose my desire thus 
because you wanted to know it." 

The girl continued, "My dear sir, I know that you are the hero Arjuna; 
so I may further say that I shall not accept anyone as my husband besides 
Lord Visnu, because He is the only protector of all living entities and 
the bestower of liberation for all conditioned souls. I shall be thankful 
unto you if you pray to Lord Visnu to be pleased with me." The girl 
Yamuna knew it well that Arjuna was a great devotee of Lord Krsna and 
that if he would pray, Krsna would never deny his request. To approach 
Krsna directly may sometimes be futile, but to approach Krsna through 
His devotee is sure to be successful. She further told Arjuna, "My name 
is Kalindl, and I live within the waters of the Yamuna. My father was 
kind enough to construct a special house for me within the waters of the 
Yamuna, and I have vowed to remain in the water as long as I cannot 
find Lord Krsna." Arjuna duly carried the message of the girl Kalindl to 
Krsna, although Krsna, as the Supersoul of everyone's heart, knew 
everything. Without further discussion, Krsna immediately accepted 
Kalindl and asked her to sit down on the chariot. Then all of them 
approached King Yudhisthira. 

After this, Krsna was asked by King Yudhisthira to help in constructing 
a suitable house to be planned by the great architect Visvakarma, the 
celestial engineer in the heavenly kingdom. Krsna immediately called 
for Visvakarma and made him construct a wonderful city according to 
the desire of King Yudhisthira. When this city was constructed, 
Maharaja Yudhisthira requested Krsna to live with them a few days 
more to give them the pleasure of His association. Lord Krsna accepted 
the request of Maharaja Yudhisthira and remained there for many days 
more. 



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In the meantime, Krsna engaged in the pastime of offering the 
Khandava forest, which belonged to King Indra. Krsna wanted to give it 
to Agni, the fire-god. The Khandava forest contained many varieties of 
drugs, and Agni required to eat them for rejuvenation. Agni, however, 
did not touch the Khandava forest directly but requested Krsna to help 
him. Agni knew that Krsna was very much pleased with him because he 
had formerly given Him the Sudarsana disc. So in order to satisfy Agni, 
Krsna became the chariot driver of Arjuna, and both went to the 
Khandava forest. After Agni had eaten up the Khandava forest, he was 
very much pleased. At this time he offered Arjuna a specific bow known 
as Gandlva, four white horses, one chariot and an invincible quiver with 
two specific arrows considered to be talismans, which had so much 
power that no warrior could counteract them. When the Khandava 
forest was being devoured by the fire-god, Agni, there was a demon of 
the name Maya who was saved by Arjuna from the devastating fire. For 
this reason, that former demon became a great friend of Arjuna, and in 
order to please Arjuna he constructed a nice assembly house within the 
city constructed by Visvakarma. This assembly house had some corners 
so puzzling that when Duryodhana came to visit this house he was 
misdirected, accepting water as land and land as water. Duryodhana was 
thus insulted by the opulence of the Pandavas, and he became their 
determined enemy. 

After a few days, Krsna took permission from King Yudhisthira to return 
to Dvaraka. When He got permission, He returned to His country 
accompanied by Satyaki, the leader of the Yadus who were living in 
Hastinapura with Him. Kalindi also returned with Krsna to Dvaraka. 
After returning, Krsna consulted many learned astrologers to find the 
suitable moment at which to marry Kalindi, and then He married her 
with great pomp. This marriage ceremony gave much pleasure to the 
relatives of both parties, and all of them enjoyed the great occasion. 
The kings of Avantipura (now known as Ujjain) were named Vindya 
and Anuvindya. Both kings were under the control of Duryodhana. 
They had one sister, named Mitravinda, who was a very qualified, 
learned and elegant girl, the daughter of one of Krsna's aunts. She was to 
select her husband in an assembly of princes, but she strongly desired to 
have Krsna as her husband. During the assembly for selecting her 



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184 



husband, Krsna was present, and He forcibly carried away Mitravinda in 
the presence of all other royal princes. Being unable to resist Krsna, the 
princes were left simply looking at each other. 

After this incident, Krsna married the daughter of the King of Kosala. 
The king of Kosala province was called Nagnajit. He was very pious and 
was a follower of the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. His most beautiful 
daughter was named Satya. Sometimes Satya was called Nagnajiti, for 
she was the daughter of King Nagnajit. King Nagnajit wanted to give 
the hand of his daughter to any prince who could defeat seven very 
strong, stalwart bulls maintained by him. No one in the princely order 
could defeat the seven bulls, and therefore no one could claim the hand 
of Satya. The seven bulls were very strong, and they could hardly bear 
even the smell of any prince. Many princes approached this kingdom 
and tried to subdue the bulls, but instead of controlling them, they 
themselves were defeated. This news spread all over the country, and 
when Krsna heard that one could achieve the girl Satya only by 
defeating the seven bulls, He prepared Himself to go to the kingdom of 
Kosala. With many soldiers, He approached that part of the country, 
known as Ayodhya, making a regular state visit. 

When it was known to the King of Kosala that Krsna had come to ask 
the hand of his daughter, he was very pleased. With great respect and 
pomp, he welcomed Krsna to the kingdom. When Krsna approached 
him, he offered the Lord a suitable sitting place and articles for 
reception. Everything appeared very elegant. Krsna also offered him 
respectful obeisances, thinking him to be His future father-in-law. 
When Satya, the daughter of King Nagnajit, understood that Krsna 
Himself had come to marry her, she was very much pleased that the 
husband of the goddess of fortune had so kindly come there to accept 
her. For a long time she had cherished the idea of marrying Krsna and 
was following the principles of austerities to obtain her desired husband. 
She then began to think, "If I have performed any pious activities to the 
best of my ability, and if I have sincerely thought all along to have Krsna 
as my husband, then Krsna may be pleased to fulfill my long-cherished 
desire." She began to offer prayers to Krsna mentally, thinking, "I do not 
know how the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be pleased with me. 
He is the master and Lord of everyone. Even the goddess of fortune, 



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whose place is next to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Lord 
Siva, Lord Brahma and many other demigods of different planets always 
offer their respectful obeisances unto the Lord. The Lord also sometimes 
descends on this earth in different incarnations to fulfill the desire of 
His devotees. He is so exalted and great that I do not know how to 
satisfy Him." She thought that the Supreme Personality of Godhead 
could be pleased only out of His own causeless mercy upon the devotee; 
otherwise, there was no means to please Him. Lord Caitanya, in the 
same way, prayed in His Siksdstaka verses, "My Lord, I am Your eternal 
servant. Somehow or other I have fallen into this material existence. If 
You kindly pick Me up and fix Me as an atom of dust at Your lotus feet, 
it will be a great favor to Your eternal servant." The Lord can be pleased 
only by a humble attitude in the service spirit. The more we render 
service unto the Lord under the direction of the spiritual master, the 
more we make advancement on the path approaching the Lord. We 
cannot demand any grace or mercy from the Lord because of our service 
rendered to Him. He may accept or not accept our service, but the only 
means to satisfy the Lord is through the service attitude, and nothing 
else. 

King Nagnajit was a pious king, and having Lord Krsna in his palace, he 
began to worship Him to the best of his knowledge and ability. He 
presented himself before the Lord thus: "My dear Lord, You are the 
proprietor of the whole cosmic manifestation, and You are Narayana, 
the resting place of all living creatures. You are self-sufficient and 
pleased with Your personal opulences, so how can I offer You anything? 
And how could I please You by such an offering? It is not possible, 
because I am an insignificant living being. Actually I have no ability to 
render any service unto You." 

Krsna is the Supersoul of all living creatures, so He could understand the 
mind of Satya, the daughter of King Nagnajit. He was also very much 
pleased with the respectful worship of the King in offering Him a sitting 
place, eatables, a residence and so on. He was appreciative, therefore, 
that both the girl and her father were eager to have Him as their 
intimate relative. He smiled and in a great voice said, "My dear King 
Nagnajit, you know very well that anyone in the princely order who is 
regular in his position will never ask anything from anyone, however 



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exalted he may be. Such requests by a ksatriya king have been 
deliberately forbidden by the learned Vedic followers. If a ksatriya breaks 
this regulation, his action is condemned by learned scholars. But in spite 
of this rigid regulative principle, I am asking you for the hand of your 
beautiful daughter just to establish our relationship in return for your 
great reception of Me. You may also be pleased to be informed that in 
Our family tradition there is no scope for Our offering anything in 
exchange for accepting your daughter. We cannot pay any price you may 
impose for delivering her." In other words, Krsna wanted the hand of 
Satya from the King without fulfilling the condition of defeating the 
seven bulls. 

After hearing the statement of Lord Krsna, King Nagnajit said, "My 
dear Lord, You are the reservoir of all pleasure, all opulences and all 
qualities. The goddess of fortune, Laksmlji, always lives on Your chest. 
Under these circumstances, who can be a better husband for my 
daughter? Both my daughter and I have always prayed for this 
opportunity. You are the chief of the Yadu dynasty. You may kindly 
know that from the very beginning I have made a vow to marry my 
daughter to a suitable candidate, one who can come out victorious in the 
test I have devised. I have imposed this test just to understand the 
prowess and position of my intended son-in-law. You, Lord Krsna, are 
the chief of all heroes. I am sure You will be able to bring these seven 
bulls under control without any difficulty. Until now they have never 
been subdued by any prince; anyone who has attempted to bring them 
under control has simply had his limbs broken." 

King Nagnajit continued his request: "Krsna, if You'll kindly bridle the 
seven bulls and bring them under control, then undoubtedly You will be 
selected as the desired husband of my daughter, Satya." After hearing 
this statement, Krsna could understand that the King did not want to 
break his vow. Thus, in order to fulfill his desire, He tightened His belt 
and prepared to fight with the bulls. He immediately divided Himself 
into seven Krsnas, and each one of Them immediately caught hold of a 
bull and bridled its nose, thus bringing it under control as if it were a 
plaything. 

Krsna's dividing Himself into seven is very significant. It was known to 
Satya, the daughter of King Nagnajit, that Krsna had already married 



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many other wives, but still she was attached to Krsna. In order to 
encourage her, Krsna immediately expanded Himself into seven. The 
purport is that Krsna is one, but He has unlimited forms of expansions. 
He married many thousands of wives, but this does not mean that while 
He was with one wife the others were bereft of His association. Krsna 
could associate with each and every wife by His expansions. 
When Krsna brought the bulls under His control by bridling their noses, 
their strength and pride were immediately smashed. The name and fame 
which the bulls had attained was thus vanquished. When Krsna had the 
bulls bridled, He pulled them strongly, just as a child pulls a toy wooden 
bull. Upon seeing this advantage of Krsna, King Nagnajit became very 
much astonished and immediately, with great pleasure, brought his 
daughter Satya before Krsna and handed her over to Him. Krsna also 
immediately accepted Satya as His wife. Then there was a marriage 
ceremony with great pomp. The queens of King Nagnajit were also very 
much pleased because their daughter Satya got Krsna as her husband. 
Since the King and queens were very much pleased on this auspicious 
occasion, there was a celebration all over the city in honor of the 
marriage. Everywhere were heard the sounds of the conchshell and 
kettledrum and various other vibrations of music and song. The learned 
brdhmanas showered their blessings upon the newly married couple. In 
jubilation, all the inhabitants of the city dressed themselves with 
colorful garments and ornaments. King Nagnajit was so much pleased 
that he gave a dowry to his daughter and son-in-law, as follows. 
First of all he gave them 10,000 cows and 3,000 well-dressed young 
maidservants, ornamented up to their necks. This system of dowry is still 
current in India, especially for ksatriya princes. When a ksatriya prince 
is married, at least a dozen maidservants of similar age are given along 
with the bride. After giving the cows and maidservants, the King 
enriched the dowry by giving 9,000 elephants and a hundred times more 
chariots than elephants. This means that he gave 900,000 chariots. And 
he gave a hundred times more horses than chariots, or 90,000,000 
horses, and a hundred times more manservants than horses. Royal 
princes maintained such manservants and maidservants with all 
provisions, as if they were their own children or family members. After 
giving this dowry, the king of the Kosala province bade his daughter and 



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great son-in-law be seated on a chariot and allowed them to go to their 
home, guarded by a division of well-equipped soldiers. As they traveled 
fast to their new home, his heart was enlivened with affection for them. 
Before this marriage of Satya with Krsna, there had been many 
competitive engagements with the bulls of King Nagnajit, and many 
other princes of the Yadu dynasty and of other dynasties as well had 
tried to win the hand of Satya. When the frustrated princes of the other 
dynasties heard that Krsna was successful in getting the hand of Satya 
by subduing the bulls, naturally they became envious. While Krsna was 
traveling to Dvaraka, all the frustrated and defeated princes encircled 
Him and began to shower their arrows on the bridal party. When they 
attacked Krsna's party and shot arrows like incessant torrents of rain, 
Arjuna, the best friend of Krsna, took charge of the challenge, and he 
alone very easily drove them off to please his great friend Krsna on the 
occasion of His marriage. He immediately took up his bow, Gandiva, and 
chased away all the princes; exactly as a lion drives away all small 
animals simply by chasing them, Arjuna drove away all the princes, 
without killing even one of them. After this, the chief of the Yadu 
dynasty, Lord Krsna, along with His newly married wife and the huge 
dowry, entered the city of Dvaraka with great pomp. Krsna then lived 
there with His wife very peacefully. 

Besides Kuntidevi, Krsna had another aunt who was His father's sister; 
her name was Srutakirti, and she was married and lived in the Kekaya 
province. She had a daughter whose name was Bhadra. Bhadra wanted 
to marry Krsna, and her brother handed her over to Him 
unconditionally. Krsna accepted her as His bona fide wife. Thereafter, 
Krsna married a daughter of the king of the Madras province. Her name 
was Laksmana. Laksmana had all good qualities. She was also forcibly 
married by Krsna, who took her in the same way that Garuda snatched 
the jar of nectar from the hands of the demigods. Krsna kidnapped this 
girl in the presence of many other princes in the assembly of her 
svayarhvara. Svayarhvara is a ceremony in which the bride can select her 
own husband from an assembly of many princes. 

The description of Krsna's marriage with the five girls mentioned in this 
chapter is not sufficient. He had many other thousands of wives besides 
them. Krsna accepted the other thousands of wives after killing a demon 



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named Bhaumasura. All these thousands of girls were held captive in the 
palace of Bhaumasura, and Krsna released them and married them. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fifty-eighth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Five Queens Married by Krsna." 



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CHAPTER FIFTY-NINE 
The Deliverance of the Demon Bhaumasura 

The story of Bhaumasura — how he kidnapped and made captive sixteen 
thousand princesses by collecting them from the palaces of various kings 
and how he was killed by Krsna, the Supreme Lord of wonderful 
character — is all described by Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit in 
Srlmad-Bhdgavatam. Generally, the demons are always against the 
demigods. This demon, Bhaumasura, having become very powerful, took 
by force the umbrella from the throne of the demigod Varuna. He also 
took the earrings of Aditi, the mother of the demigods. He conquered a 
portion of heavenly Mount Meru and occupied the portion known as 
Mani-parvata. The king of the heavenly planets, Indra, therefore came 
to Dvaraka to complain about Bhaumasura before Lord Krsna. 
Hearing this complaint by Indra, the King of heaven, Lord Krsna, 
accompanied by His wife Satyabhama, immediately started for the abode 
of Bhaumasura. Both of them rode on the back of Garuda, who flew 
them to Pragjyotisa-pura, Bhaumasura's capital city. To enter the city of 
Pragjyotisa-pura was not a very easy task, because it was very well 
fortified. First of all, there were four strongholds guarding the four 
directions of the city, which was well protected on all sides by 
formidable military strength. The next boundary was a water canal all 
around the city, and in addition the whole city was surrounded by 
electric wires. The next fortification was of anila, a gaseous substance. 
After this, there was a network of barbed wiring constructed by a demon 
of the name Mura. The city appeared well protected even in terms of 
today's scientific advancements. 

When Krsna arrived, He broke all the strongholds to pieces by the 
strokes of His club and scattered the military strength here and there by 
the constant onslaught of His arrows. With His celebrated Sudarsana 
cakra He counteracted the electrified boundary, annihilated the 
channels of water and the gaseous boundary, and cut to pieces the 
electrified network fabricated by the demon Mura. By the vibration of 
His conchshell, He broke the hearts of the great fighters and also broke 
the fighting machines that were there. Similarly, He broke the walls 



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around the city with His invincible club. 

The vibration of His conchshell sounded like a thunderbolt at the time 
of the dissolution of the whole cosmic manifestation. The demon Mura 
heard the vibration of the conchshell, awakened from his sleep, and 
personally came out to see what had happened. He had five heads and 
had long been living within the water. The Mura demon was as brilliant 
as the sun at the time of the dissolution of the cosmos, and his temper 
was like blazing fire. The effulgence of his body was so dazzling that he 
was difficult to see with open eyes. When he came out, he first took out 
his trident and rushed the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The demon 
Mura in his onslaught was like a big snake attacking Garuda. His angry 
mood was very severe, and he appeared ready to devour the three worlds. 
First of all he attacked the carrier of Krsna, Garuda, by whirling and 
then throwing his trident, and through his five mouths he vibrated 
sounds like the roaring of a lion. These roaring vibrations spread all over 
the atmosphere until they extended all over the world and into outer 
space, up and down and out to the ten directions, rumbling throughout 
the entire universe. 

Lord Krsna saw that the trident of the Mura demon was rushing toward 
His carrier, Garuda. Immediately, by a trick of His hand, He took two 
arrows and threw them toward the trident, cutting it to pieces. 
Simultaneously, using many arrows, He pierced the mouths of the 
demon Mura. When the Mura demon saw himself outmaneuvered by the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, he immediately began to strike the 
Lord in great anger with his club. But Lord Krsna, with His own club, 
broke the club of Mura to pieces before it could reach Him. The demon, 
bereft of his weapon, decided to attack Krsna with his strong arms, but 
Krsna, with the aid of His Sudarsana cakra, immediately separated the 
demon's five heads from his body. The demon then fell into the water, 
just as the peak of a mountain falls into the ocean after being struck by 
the thunderbolt of Indra. 

This demon Mura had seven sons, named Tamra, Antariksa, Sravana, 
Vibhavasu, Vasu, Nabhasvan and Aruna. All of them became puffed up 
and vengeful because of the death of their father, and to retaliate they 
prepared in great anger to fight with Krsna. They equipped themselves 
with necessary weapons and situated Pitha, another demon, to act as 



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commander in the battle. By the order of Bhaumasura, all of them 
combinedly attacked Krsna. 

When they came before Lord Krsna, they began to shower Him with 
many kinds of weapons, like swords, clubs, lances, arrows and tridents. 
But they did not know that the strength of the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead is unlimited and invincible. Krsna, with His arrows, cut all the 
weapons of the men of Bhaumasura into pieces, like grains. Krsna then 
threw His weapons, and Bhaumasura's commander in chief, Pitha, along 
with his assistants, fell down, their military dress cut off and their heads, 
legs, arms and thighs severed. All of them were sent to the 
superintendent of death, Yamaraja. 

Bhaumasura, who was also known as Narakasura, happened to be the son 
of the earth personified. When he saw that all his soldiers, commanders 
and fighters were killed on the battlefield by the strokes of the weapons 
of the Personality of Godhead, he became exceedingly angry at the Lord. 
He then came out of the city with a great number of elephants who had 
all been born and brought up on the seashore. All of them were highly 
intoxicated. When they came out, they saw that Lord Krsna and His 
wife were beautifully situated high in outer space just like a blackish 
cloud about the sun, glittering with the light of electricity. The demon 
Bhaumasura immediately released a weapon called Sataghni, by which 
he could kill hundreds of warriors with one stroke, and all his assistants 
simultaneously threw their respective weapons at the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead. Lord Krsna counteracted all these weapons by 
releasing His feathered arrows. The result of this fight was that all the 
soldiers and commanders of Bhaumasura fell to the ground, their arms, 
legs and heads separated from their trunks, and all their horses and 
elephants also fell with them. In this way, all the weapons released by 
Bhaumasura were cut to pieces by the Lord's arrows. 
The Lord was fighting on the back of Garuda, who was helping the Lord 
by striking the horses and elephants with his wings and scratching their 
heads with his nails and sharp beak. The elephants, feeling much pain 
from Garuda's attack on them, all dispersed from the battlefield. 
Bhaumasura alone remained on the battlefield, and he engaged himself 
in fighting with Krsna. He saw that Krsna's carrier, Garuda, had caused 
great disturbance to his soldiers and elephants, and in great anger he 



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struck Garuda with all his strength, which defied the strength of a 
thunderbolt. Fortunately, Garuda was not an ordinary bird, and he felt 
the strokes given by Bhaumasura just as a great elephant feels the impact 
of a garland of flowers. 

Bhaumasura thus came to see that none of his tricks would act upon 
Krsna, and he became aware that all his attempts to kill Krsna would be 
frustrated. Yet he tried for the last time, taking a trident in his hand to 
strike Him. Krsna was so dexterous that before Bhaumasura could throw 
his trident, his head was cut off by the sharp Sudarsana cakra. His head, 
illuminated by earrings and helmets, fell down on the battlefield. On the 
occasion of Bhaumasura's being killed by Lord Krsna, all the demon's 
relatives screamed in disappointment, and the saintly persons glorified 
the chivalrous activities of the Lord. Taking this opportunity, the 
denizens of the heavenly planets showered flowers on the Lord. 
At this time, the earth personified appeared before Lord Krsna and 
greeted Him with a Vaijayanti flower garland. She also returned the 
dazzling earrings of Aditi, bedecked with jewels and gold. She also 
returned the umbrella of Varuna, along with another valuable jewel, 
which she presented to Krsna. After this, the earth personified offered 
her prayers to Krsna, the Supreme Personality and master of the world, 
who is always worshiped by exalted demigods. She fell down in 
obeisances and, in great devotional ecstasy, began to speak. 
"Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who is always 
present with four symbols, namely His conchshell, disc, lotus and club, 
and who is the Lord of all demigods. Please accept my respectful 
obeisances unto You. My dear Lord, You are the Supersoul, and in order 
to satisfy the aspirations of Your devotees, You descend on the earth in 
Your various transcendental incarnations, which are just appropriate to 
the devotees' worshipful desire. Kindly accept my respectful obeisances. 
"My dear Lord, the lotus flower grows out of Your navel, and You are 
always decorated with a garland of lotus flowers. Your eyes are always 
spread like the petals of the lotus flower, and therefore they are all- 
pleasing to the eyes of others. Your lotus feet are so soft and delicate that 
they are always worshiped by Your unalloyed devotees, and they pacify 
their lotuslike hearts. I therefore repeatedly offer my respectful 
obeisances unto You. 



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"You possess all beauty, strength, fame, property, knowledge and 
renunciation; You are the shelter of all six opulences. Although You are 
all-pervading, You have appeared as the son of Vasudeva. Please, 
therefore, accept my respectful obeisances. You are the original Supreme 
Personality of Godhead and the supreme cause of all causes. Only Your 
Lordship is the reservoir of all knowledge. Let me offer my respectful 
obeisances unto You. Personally You are unborn; still, You are the father 
of the whole cosmic manifestation. You are the reservoir and shelter of 
all kinds of energies. The manifested appearance of this world is caused 
by You, and You are both the cause and effect of this cosmic 
manifestation. Please therefore accept my respectful obeisances. 
"My dear Lord, as for the three gods Brahma, Visnu and Siva, they are 
also not independent of You. When there is a necessity of creating this 
cosmic manifestation, You create Your passionate appearance of 
Brahma, and when You want to maintain this cosmic manifestation You 
expand Yourself as Lord Visnu, the reservoir of all goodness. Similarly, 
You appear as Lord Siva, master of the mode of ignorance, and thus 
dissolve the whole creation. You always maintain Your transcendental 
position, in spite of creating these three modes of material nature. You 
are never entangled in these modes of nature, as the ordinary living 
entities are. 

"Actually, my Lord, You are the material nature, You are the father of 
the universe, and You are eternal time, which has caused the 
combination of the elements of nature and the manifestation of the 
material creation. Still, You are always transcendental to all these 
material activities. My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I 
know that earth, water, fire, air, sky, the five sense objects, mind, the 
senses and their deities, egotism, as well as the total material energy — 
everything animate and inanimate in this phenomenal world — rests 
upon You. Since everything is produced of You, nothing can be separate 
from You. Yet since You are transcendentally situated, nothing material 
can be identified with Your personality. Everything is therefore 
simultaneously one with You and different from You, and the 
philosophers who try to separate everything from You are certainly 
mistaken in their viewpoint. 
"My dear Lord, may I inform You that this boy, whose name is 



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Bhagadatta, is the son of my son, Bhaumasura. He has been very much 
affected by the ghastly situation created by the death of his father and 
has become very much confused and afraid. I have therefore brought 
him to surrender unto Your lotus feet. I request Your Lordship to give 
shelter to this boy and bless him with Your lotus feet. I bring him to You 
so that he may be relieved of the reactions of all the sinful activities of 
his father." 

When Lord Krsna heard the prayers of mother earth, He immediately 
assured her of immunity from all fearful situations. He said to 
Bhagadatta, "Don't be afraid." Then He entered the palace of 
Bhaumasura, which was equipped with all kinds of opulences. In the 
palace of Bhaumasura, Lord Krsna saw 16,100 young princesses, who had 
been kidnapped and held captive there. When the princesses saw the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, enter the palace, they 
immediately became captivated by the beauty of the Lord and prayed for 
His causeless mercy. Within their minds, they decided to accept Lord 
Krsna as their husband without hesitation. Each one of them prayed to 
Providence that Krsna might become her husband. Sincerely and 
seriously, they offered their hearts to the lotus feet of Krsna with an 
unalloyed devotional attitude. As the Supersoul in everyone's heart, 
Krsna could understand their uncontaminated desire, and He agreed to 
accept them as His wives. Thus He arranged for suitable garments and 
ornaments for them, and each of them, seated on a palanquin, was 
dispatched to Dvaraka City. Krsna also collected unlimited wealth from 
the palace, a treasure of chariots, horses, jewels and so on. He took from 
the palace fifty white elephants, each with four tusks, and all of them 
were dispatched to Dvaraka. 

After this incident, Lord Krsna and Satyabhama entered Amaravati, the 
capital city of the heavenly planets, and they immediately entered the 

s 

palace of King Indra and his wife, Sacidevi, who welcomed them. Krsna 
then presented Indra the earrings of Aditi. 

When Krsna and Satyabhama were returning from the capital city of 
Indra, Satyabhama remembered Krsna's promise to give her a pdrijdta 
tree. Taking the opportunity of having come to the heavenly kingdom, 
she uprooted a pdrijdta tree and placed it on the back of Garuda. Once 
Narada had taken a pdrijdta flower and presented it to Krsna's senior 



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wife, Sri Rukmini-devi. On account of this, Satyabhama had developed 
an inferiority complex; she also wanted such a flower from Krsna. Krsna 
could understand the competitive womanly nature of His co-wives, and 
He smiled. He had immediately asked Satyabhama, "Why are you asking 
for only one flower? I would like to give you a whole tree of pdrijdta 
flowers." 

Actually, Krsna had purposely taken His wife Satyabhama with Him so 
that she could collect the pdrijdta with her own hand. But the denizens 
of the heavenly planets, including Indra, were very irritated. Without 
their permission, Satyabhama had uprooted a pdrijdta tree, which is not 
to be found on the earth planet. Indra, along with other demigods, 
offered opposition to Krsna and Satyabhama for taking away the tree, 
but in order to please His favorite wife Satyabhama, Krsna became 
determined and adamant, so there was a fight between the demigods and 
Krsna. As usual, Krsna came out victorious, and He triumphantly 
brought the pdrijdta tree chosen by His wife to this earth planet, to 
Dvaraka. After this, the tree was installed in the palace garden of 
Satyabhama. On account of this extraordinary tree, the garden house of 
Satyabhama became extraordinarily beautiful. As the pdrijdta tree came 
down to the earthly planet, the fragrance of the flower also came down, 
and the celestial drones migrated to this earth in search of its fragrance 
and honey. 

King Indra's behavior toward Krsna was not very much appreciated by 
great sages like Sukadeva Gosvami. Out of His causeless mercy, Krsna 
had gone to the heavenly kingdom, Amaravati, to present King Indra 
with his mother's earrings, which had been lost to Bhaumasura, and 
Indra had been very glad to receive them. But when a pdrijdta tree from 
the heavenly kingdom was taken by Krsna, Indra offered to fight with 
Him. This was self-interest on the part of Indra. He offered his prayer, 
tipping down his head to the lotus feet of Krsna, but as soon as his 
purpose was served, he became a different creature. That is the way of 
the dealings of materialistic men. Materialistic men are always interested 
in their own profit. For this purpose they can offer any kind of respect 
to anyone, but when their personal interest is over, they are no longer 
friends. This selfish nature is found not only among the richer class of 
men on this planet but even in personalities like Indra and other 



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demigods. Too much wealth makes a man selfish. A selfish man is not 
prepared to take to Krsna consciousness and is condemned by great 
devotees like Sukadeva Gosvami. In other words, possession of too many 
worldly riches is a disqualification for advancement in Krsna 
consciousness. 

After defeating Indra, Krsna arranged to marry the 16,100 girls brought 
from the custody of Bhaumasura. By expanding Himself in 16,100 forms, 
He simultaneously married them all in different palaces in one 
auspicious moment. He thus established the truth that Krsna and no one 
else is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is nothing impossible 
for Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; He is all-powerful, 
omnipresent and imperishable, and as such there is nothing wonderful 
in this pastime. All the palaces of the more than 16,000 queens of Krsna 
were full with suitable gardens, furniture and other paraphernalia, of 
which there is no parallel in this world. There is no exaggeration in this 
story from Srlmad-Bhdgavatam. The queens of Krsna were all expansions 
of the goddess of fortune, LaksmijI. Krsna lived with them in different 
palaces, and He treated them exactly the same way an ordinary man 
treats his wife. 

We should always remember that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
Krsna, was playing exactly like a human being; although He showed His 
extraordinary opulences by simultaneously marrying more than sixteen 
thousand wives in more than sixteen thousand palaces, He behaved with 
them just like an ordinary man, and He strictly followed the relationship 
between husband and wife required in ordinary homes. Therefore, it is 
very difficult to understand the characteristics of the Supreme 
Brahman, the Personality of Godhead. Even demigods like Brahma are 
unable to probe into the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. The wives 
of Krsna were so fortunate that they got the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead as their husband, although their husband's personality was 
unknown even to the demigods like Brahma. 

In their dealings as husband and wife, Krsna and His queens would 
smile, talk, joke, embrace and so on, and their conjugal relationship 
ever-increasingly developed. In this way, Krsna and the queens enjoyed 
transcendental happiness in their household life. Although each and 
every queen had thousands of maidservants engaged for her service, the 



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queens were all personally attentive in serving Krsna. Each one of them 
used to receive Krsna personally when He entered the palace. They 
engaged in seating Him on a nice couch, worshiping Him with all kinds 
of paraphernalia, washing His lotus feet with Ganges water, offering 
Him betel nuts and massaging His legs. In this way, they gave Him relief 
from the fatigue He felt after being away from home. They saw to 
fanning Him nicely, offering Him fragrant essential floral oil, decorating 
Him with flower garlands, dressing His hair, asking Him to lie down to 
take rest, bathing Him personally and feeding Him palatable dishes. 
Each queen did all these things herself and did not wait for the 
maidservants. In other words, Krsna and His different queens displayed 
on this earth an ideal household life. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fifty-ninth Chapter of Krsna, 
"The Deliverance of the Demon Bhaumasura." 



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CHAPTER SIXTY 
Talks Between Krsna and Rukmini 

Once upon a time, Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
the bestower of all knowledge upon all living entities, from Brahma to 
the insignificant ant, was sitting in the bedroom of Rukmini, who was 
engaged in the service of the Lord along with her assistant maidservants. 
Krsna was sitting on the bedstead of Rukmini, and the maidservants 
were fanning Him with cdmaras (yak-tail fly-whisks). 
Lord Krsna's dealings with Rukmini as a perfect husband are a perfect 
manifestation of the supreme perfection of the Personality of Godhead. 
There are many philosophers who propound a concept of the Absolute 
Truth in which God cannot do this or that. They deny the incarnation 
of God, or the Supreme Absolute Truth in human form. But actually the 
fact is different: God cannot be subject to our imperfect sensual 
activities. He is the all-powerful, omnipresent Personality of Godhead, 
and by His supreme will, not only can He create, maintain and 
annihilate the whole cosmic manifestation but can also descend as an 
ordinary human being to execute the highest mission. As stated in 
Bhagavad-gltd, whenever there are discrepancies in the discharge of 
human occupational duties, He descends. He is not forced to appear by 
any external agency, but He descends by His own internal potency in 
order to reestablish the standard functions of human activities and 
simultaneously to annihilate the disturbing elements in the progressive 
march of human civilization. In accordance with this principle of the 
transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He 
descended in His eternal form as Sri Krsna in the dynasty of the Yadus. 
The palace of Rukmini was wonderfully furnished. There were many 
canopies hanging on the ceiling with laces bedecked with pearl garlands, 
and the whole palace was illuminated by the effulgence of valuable 
jewels. There were many flower orchards of mallikd and cdmeli, which 
are considered the most fragrant flowers in India. There were many 
clusters of these plants, with blooming flowers enhancing the beauty of 
the palace. And because of the exquisite fragrance of the flowers, little 
groups of humming bees gathered around the trees, and at night the 



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pleasing moonshine glittered through the network of holes in the 
windows. There were many heavily flowered trees of pdrijdta, and the 
mild wind stirred the fragrance of the flowers all around. Incense burned 
within the walls of the palace, and the fragrant smoke leaked out of the 
window shutters. Within the room were mattresses covered with white 
bedsheets; the bedding was as soft and white as milk foam. In this 
situation, Lord Sri Krsna sat very comfortably and enjoyed the service of 
Rukminljl, who was assisted by her maidservants. 

RukminI was also very eager to get the opportunity to serve her husband, 
the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She therefore wanted to serve the 
Lord personally and took the handle of the cdmara from the hand of a 
maidservant and began to move the fan. The handle of the cdmara was 
made of gold and bedecked with valuable jewels, and it became more 
beautiful when taken by RukminI because all of her fingers were 
beautifully set with jeweled rings. Her legs were decorated with jeweled 
ankle bells, which rang very softly between the pleats of her sari. 
Rukmini's raised breasts were smeared with kunkuma and saffron; thus 
her beauty was enhanced by the reflection of the reddish color 
emanating from her covered breasts. Her high hips were decorated with 
a jeweled lace girdle, and a locket of great effulgence hung on her neck. 
Above all, because she was engaged in the service of Lord Krsna — 
although at that time she was old enough to have grown-up sons — her 
beautiful body was beyond compare in the three worlds. When we take 
account of her beautiful face, it appears that the curling hair on her 
head, the beautiful earrings on her ears, her smiling mouth, and her 
necklace of gold all combined to shower rains of nectar; and it was 
definitely proved that RukminI was none other than the original goddess 
of fortune, who is always engaged in the service of the lotus feet of 
Narayana. 

The pastimes of Krsna and RukminI in Dvaraka are accepted by great 
authorities as manifestations of those of Narayana and LaksmI, which 
are of an exalted opulence. The pastimes of Radha and Krsna in 
Vrndavana are simple and rural, distinguished from the polished urban 
characteristics of those of Dvaraka. The characteristics of RukminI were 
unusually bright, and Krsna was very much satisfied with her behavior. 
Krsna had experienced that when RukminI was offered a pdrijdta flower 



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by Narada Muni, Satyabhama had become envious of her co-wife and 
had immediately demanded a similar flower from Krsna. In fact, she 
could not be pacified until she was promised the whole tree. And Krsna 
actually fulfilled His promise: He brought the tree down to the earth 
planet from the heavenly kingdom. After this episode, Krsna expected 
that because Satyabhama had been rewarded by a full tree of pdrijdta, 
RukminI would also demand something. RukminI did not mention 
anything of the incident, however, for she was grave and simply satisfied 
in her service. Krsna wanted to see her a bit irritated, and therefore He 
schemed to see the beautiful face of RukminI in an irritated condition. 
Although Krsna had more than 16,100 wives, He used to behave with 
each of them with familial affection; He would create a particular 
situation between Himself and His wife in which the wife would criticize 
Him in the irritation of love, and Krsna would enjoy this. In this case, 
because Krsna could not find any fault with Rukmini, for she was very 
grave and always engaged in His service, He smilingly, in great love, 
began to speak to her. RukminI was the daughter of King Bhlsmaka, a 
powerful king. Thus Krsna did not address her as RukminI; He addressed 
her this time as the princess. "My dear princess, it is very surprising. 
Many great personalities in the royal order wanted to marry you. 
Although not all of them were kings, all possessed the opulence and 
riches of the kingly order; they were well behaved, learned, famous 
among kings, beautiful in their bodily features and personal 
qualifications, liberal, very powerful in strength and advanced in every 
respect. They were not unfit in any way, and over and above that, your 
father and your brother had no objection to such a marriage. On the 
contrary, they gave their word of honor that you would be married with 
Sisupala; the marriage was sanctioned by your parents. Sisupala was a 
great king and was so lusty and mad after your beauty that if he had 
married you I think he would always have remained with you just like 
your faithful servant. 

"In comparison to Sisupala, with his personal qualities, I am nothing. 
And you may personally realize it. I am surprised that you rejected the 
marriage with Sisupala and accepted Me, who am inferior in comparison 
to Sisupala. I think Myself completely unfit to be your husband because 
you are so beautiful, sober, grave and exalted. May I inquire from you the 



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reason that induced you to accept Me? Now, of course, I may address you 
as My beautiful wife, but still I may inform you of My actual position — 
that I am inferior to all those princes who wanted to marry you. 
"First of all, you may know that I was so much afraid of Jarasandha that I 
could not dare live on the land, and thus I have constructed this house 
within the water of the sea. It is not My business to disclose this secret to 
others, but you must know that I am not very heroic; I am a coward and 
am afraid of My enemies. Still I am not safe, because all the great kings 
of the land are inimical to Me. I have personally created this inimical 
feeling by fighting with them in many ways. Another fault is that 
although I am on the throne of Dvaraka, I have no immediate claim. 
Although I got a kingdom by killing My maternal uncle, Karhsa, the 
kingdom was to go to My grandfather; so actually I have no possession of 
a kingdom. Besides that, I have no fixed aim in life. People cannot 
understand Me very well. What is the ultimate goal of My life? They 
know very well that I was a cowherd boy in Vrndavana. People expected 
that I would follow in the footsteps of My foster father, Nanda 
Maharaja, and be faithful to Srlmati Radharani and all Her friends in 
the village of Vrndavana. But all of a sudden I left them. I wanted to 
become a famous prince. Still I could not have any kingdom, nor could I 
rule as a prince. People are bewildered about My ultimate goal of life; 
they do not know whether I am a cowherd boy or a prince, whether I am 
the son of Nanda Maharaja or the son of Vasudeva. Because I have no 
fixed aim in life, people may call Me a vagabond. Therefore, I am 
surprised that you could select such a vagabond husband. 
"Besides this, I am not very much polished, even in social etiquette. A 
person should be satisfied with one wife, but you see that I have married 
many times, and I have more than sixteen thousand wives. I cannot 
please all of them as a polished husband. My behavior with them is not 
very nice, and I know that you are very conscious of it. I sometimes 
create a situation with My wives which is not very happy. Because I was 
trained in a village in My childhood, I am not well acquainted with the 
etiquette of urban life. I do not know the way to please a wife with nice 
words and behavior. And from practical experience it is found that any 
woman who follows My way or becomes attracted by Me is ultimately 
left to cry for the rest of her life. In Vrndavana, many gopls were 



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attracted to Me, and now I have left them, and they are living but are 
simply crying for Me in separation. I have heard from Akrura and 
Uddhava that since I left Vrndavana, all My cowherd boyfriends, the 
gopls and Radharani, and My foster father, Nanda Maharaja, are simply 
crying constantly for Me. I have left Vrndavana for good and am now 
engaged with the queens in Dvaraka, but I am not well behaved with any 
of you. So you can very easily understand that I have no steadiness of 
character; I am not a very reliable husband. The net result of being 
attracted to Me is to acquire a life of bereavement only. 
"My dear beautiful princess, you may also know that I am always 
penniless. Just after My birth, I was carried penniless to the house of 
Nanda Maharaja, and I was raised just like a cowherd boy. Although My 
foster father possessed many hundreds of thousands of cows, I was not 
the proprietor of even one of them. I was simply entrusted with taking 
care of them and tending them, but I was not the proprietor. Here also, I 
am not the proprietor of anything, but am always penniless. There is no 
cause to lament for such a penniless condition; I possessed nothing in 
the past, so why should I lament that I do not possess anything at 
present? You may note also that My devotees are not very opulent; they 
also are very poor in worldly goods. Persons who are very rich, possessing 
worldly wealth, are not interested in devotion to Me, or Krsna 
consciousness. On the contrary, when a person becomes penniless, 
whether by force or by circumstances, he may become interested in Me 
if he gets the proper opportunity. Persons who are proud of their riches, 
even if they are offered association with My devotees, do not take 
advantage of consciousness of Me. In other words, the poorer class of 
men may have some interest in Me, but rich men have no interest. I 
think, therefore, that your selection of Me was not very intelligent. You 
appear very intelligent, trained by your father and brother, but 
ultimately you have made a great mistake in selecting your life's 
companion. 

"But there is no harm; the mistake can still be rectified, and it is better 
late than never. You are at liberty to select a suitable husband who is 
actually an equal to you in opulence, family tradition, wealth, beauty, 
education — in all respects. Whatever mistakes you may have made may 
be forgotten. Now you may chalk out your own lucrative path of life. 



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Usually a person does not establish a marital relationship with a person 
who is either higher or lower than his position. My dear daughter of the 
King of Vidarbha, I think you did not consider very sagaciously before 
your marriage. Thus you made a wrong selection by choosing Me as your 
husband. You mistakenly heard about My having very exalted character, 
although factually I was nothing more than a beggar. Without seeing Me 
and My actual position, simply by hearing about Me, you selected Me as 
your husband. That was not very rightly done. Therefore I advise you 
that, better late than never, you may now select one of the great ksatriya 
princes and accept him as your life's companion, and you may reject 
Me." 

Krsna was proposing that Rukmini divorce Him at a time when Rukmini 
already had many grown-up children. Therefore Krsna's whole 
proposition appeared to be something unexpected because according to 
the Vedic culture there was no such thing as separation of husband and 
wife by divorce. Nor was it possible for Rukmini to choose a new 
husband at her advanced age, when she had many married sons. To 
Rukmini every one of Krsna's proposals appeared crazy, and she was 
surprised that Krsna could say such things. Simple as she was, her 
anxiety was increasing more and more at the thought of separation from 
Krsna. 

Krsna continued, "After all, you have to prepare yourself for your next 
life. I therefore advise that you select someone who can help you in both 
this life and the next, for I am completely unable to help. My dear 
beautiful princess, you know that all the members of the princely order, 
including Sisupala, Salva, Jarasandha, Dantavakra and even your elder 
brother Rukml, are all My enemies; they do not like Me at all. They hate 
Me from the cores of their hearts. All these princes were very much 
puffed up with their worldly possessions and did not care a fig for 
anyone who came before them. In order to teach them some lessons, I 
agreed to kidnap you according to your desire; otherwise I actually have 
no love for you, although you loved Me even before the marriage. 
"As I have already explained, I am not very much interested in family 
life or love between husband and wife. By nature, I am not very fond of 
family life, wife, children, home and opulences. As My devotees are 
always neglectful of all these worldly possessions, I am also like that. 



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Actually, I am interested in self-realization; that gives Me pleasure, and 
not this family life." After submitting His statement, Lord Krsna 
suddenly stopped. 

The great authority Sukadeva Gosvami remarks that Krsna almost 
always passed His time with RukminI, and RukminI was a bit proud to be 
so fortunate that Krsna never left her even for a moment. Krsna, 
however, does not like any of His devotees to be proud. As soon as a 
devotee becomes so, by some tactic He cuts down that pride. In this case 
also, Krsna said many things which were hard for RukminI to hear. She 
could only conclude that although she was proud of her position, Krsna 
could be separated from her at any moment. 

RukminI was conscious that her husband was not an ordinary human 
being. He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of the 
three worlds. By the way He was speaking, she was afraid of being 
separated from the Lord, for she had never heard such harsh words from 
Krsna before. Thus she became perplexed with fear of separation, and 
her heart began to palpitate. Without replying to a word of Krsna's 
statement, she simply cried in great anxiety, as if drowning in an ocean 
of grief. She silently scratched the ground with the nails of her toes, 
which reflected reddish light on the ground. The tears from her eyes 
mixed with the black cosmetic ointment from her eyelids and dropped 
down, washing the kunkuma and saffron from her breasts. Choked up on 
account of great anxiety, unable to speak even a word, she kept her head 
downward and remained standing just like a stick. Due to extremely 
painful fear and lamentation, she lost all her powers of reason and 
became weak, her body losing so much weight that the bangles on her 
wrists became slack. The cdmara with which she was serving Krsna 
immediately fell from her hand. Her brain and memory became puzzled, 
and she lost consciousness. The nicely combed hair on her head 
scattered here and there, and she fell down straight, like a banana tree 
cut down by a whirlwind. 

Lord Krsna immediately realized that RukminI had not taken His words 
in a joking spirit. She had taken them very seriously, and in her extreme 
anxiety over immediate separation from Him, she had fallen into this 
condition. Lord Sri Krsna is naturally very affectionate toward His 
devotees, and when He saw Rukminl's condition, His heart immediately 



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softened. At once He became merciful to her. The relationship between 
Rukmini and Krsna was like that between Laksmi and Narayana; 
therefore, Krsna appeared before Rukmini in His four-handed 
manifestation of Narayana. He got down from the bedstead, brought her 
up by her hands and, placing His cooling hands on her face, smoothed 
the scattered hair on her head. Lord Krsna dried the wet breasts of 
Rukminiji with His hand. Understanding the seriousness of Rukmini's 
love for Him, He embraced her to His chest. 

The Supreme Personality is expert in putting a thing reasonably for 
one's understanding, and thus He tried to retract all that He said before. 
He is the only resort for all devotees, and so He knows very well how to 
satisfy His pure devotees. Krsna understood that Rukmini could not 
follow the statements He had made in a joking way. To counteract her 
confusion, He again spoke, as follows. 

"My dear daughter of King Vidarbha, My dear Rukmini, please do not 
misunderstand Me. Don't be unkind to Me like this. I know that you are 
sincerely and seriously attached to Me; you are My eternal companion. 
The words which have affected you so much are not factual. I wanted to 
irritate you a bit, and I was expecting you to make counter answers to 
those joking words. Unfortunately, you have taken them seriously; I am 
very sorry for it. I expected that your red lips would tremble in anger 
when you heard My statement and that you would chastise Me in many 
words. O perfection of love, I never expected that your condition would 
be like this. I expected that you would cast your unblinking glance upon 
Me in retaliation and that I would thus be able to see your beautiful face 
in that angry mood. 

"My dear beautiful wife, you know that because we are householders we 
are always busy in many household affairs and long for a time when we 
can enjoy some joking words between us. That is our ultimate gain in 
household life." Actually, householders work very hard day and night, 
but all fatigue of the day's labor is minimized as soon as they meet, 
husband and wife together, and enjoy life in many ways. Lord Krsna 
wanted to exhibit Himself as being like an ordinary householder who 
delights himself by exchanging joking words with his wife. He therefore 
repeatedly requested Rukmini not to take those words very seriously. 
In this way, when Lord Krsna pacified Rukmini by His sweet words, she 



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could understand that what He had formerly said was not actually meant 
but was spoken to evoke some joking pleasure between themselves. She 
was therefore pacified by hearing the words of Krsna. Gradually she was 
freed from all fear of separation from Him, and she began to look on His 
face very cheerfully with her naturally smiling face. She said, "My dear 
lotus-eyed Lord, Your statement that we are not a fit combination is 
completely right. It is not possible for me to come to an equal level with 
You, for You are the reservoir of all qualities, the unlimited Supreme 
Personality of Godhead. How can I be a fit match for You? There is no 
possibility of comparison with You, who are the master of all greatness, 
the controller of the three qualities and the object of worship for great 
demigods like Brahma and Lord Siva. As far as I am concerned, I am a 
product of the three modes of material nature, which impede the 
progressive advancement of devotional service. When and where can I 
be a fit match for You? My dear husband, You have rightly said that out 
of fear of the kings You have taken shelter in the water of the sea. But 
who are the kings of this material world? I do not think that the so- 
called royal families are kings of the material world. The kings of the 
material world are the three modes of material nature, who are actually 
its controllers. You are situated in the core of everyone's heart, where 
You remain completely aloof from the touch of the three modes of 
material nature, and there is no doubt about it. 

"You say You always maintain enmity with the worldly kings. But who 
are the worldly kings? I think the worldly kings are the senses. They are 
most formidable, and they control everyone. Certainly You maintain 
enmity with these material senses. You are never under the control of 
the senses; rather, You are the controller of the senses, Hrsikesa. My 
dear Lord, You have said that You are bereft of all royal power, and that 
is also correct. Not only are You bereft of supremacy over the material 
world, but even Your servants, those who have some attachment to Your 
lotus feet, also give up supremacy over the material world because they 
consider the material position to be the darkest region, which checks the 
progress of spiritual enlightenment. Your servants do not like material 
supremacy, so what to speak of You? My dear Lord, Your statement that 
You do not act as an ordinary person with a particular aim in life is also 
perfectly correct. Even Your great devotees and servants, known as great 



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sages and saintly persons, remain in such a state that no one can get any 
clue as to the aim of their lives. Human society considers them crazy and 
cynical. Their aim of life remains a mystery to the common human 
being; the lowest of mankind can know neither You nor Your servant. A 
contaminated human being cannot even imagine the pastimes of You 
and Your devotees. O unlimited one, when the activities and endeavors 
of Your devotees remain a mystery to the common human beings, how 
can Your motives and endeavors be understood by them? All kinds of 
energies and opulences are engaged in Your service, but still they rest at 
Your shelter. 

"You have described Yourself as penniless, but this condition is not 
poverty. Since there is nothing in existence but You, You do not need to 
possess anything — You Yourself are everything. Unlike others, You do 
not require to purchase anything extraneously. With You all contrary 
things can be adjusted because You are absolute. You do not possess 
anything, but no one is richer than You. In the material world, no one 
can be rich without possessing. Since Your Lordship is absolute, You can 
adjust the contradiction of possessing nothing but at the same time 
being the richest. In the Vedas it is stated that although You have no 
material hands and legs, You accept everything offered in devotion by 
the devotees. You have no material eyes and ears, but still You can see 
and hear everything everywhere. Although You do not possess anything, 
the great demigods who accept prayers and worship from others come 
and worship You to solicit Your mercy. How can You be categorized 
among the poor? 

"My dear Lord, You have also stated that the richest section of human 
society does not worship You. This is also correct, because persons who 
are puffed up with material possessions think of utilizing their property 
for sense gratification. When a poverty-stricken man becomes rich, he 
makes a program for sense gratification due to his ignorance of how to 
utilize his hard-earned money. Under the spell of the external energy, he 
thinks that his money is properly employed in sense gratification, and 
thus he neglects to render transcendental service. My dear Lord, You 
have stated that persons who possess nothing are very dear to You; 
renouncing everything, Your devotee wants to possess You only. I see, 
therefore, that a great sage like Narada Muni who does not possess any 



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material property is still very dear to You. And such persons do not care 
for anything but Your Lordship. 

"My dear Lord, You have stated that a marriage between persons equal 
in social standing, beauty, riches, strength, influence and renunciation 
can be a suitable match. But this status of life can be possible only by 
Your grace. You are the supreme perfectional source of all opulences. 
Whatever opulent status one may have is all derived from You. As 
described in the Veddnta-sutra, janmddy asya yatah [SB 1.1.1] — You are 
the supreme source from which everything emanates, the reservoir of all 
pleasures. Therefore, persons endowed with knowledge desire only to 
achieve You, and nothing else. To achieve Your favor, they give up 
everything — even the transcendental realization of Brahman. You are 
the supreme, ultimate goal of life. You are the reservoir of all interests of 
the living entities. Those who are actually well motivated desire only 
You, and for this reason they give up everything to attain success. They 
therefore deserve to associate with You. In the society of the servitors 
and served in Krsna consciousness, one is not subjected to the pains and 
pleasures of material society, which functions according to sex 
attraction. Therefore, everyone, whether man or woman, should seek to 
be an associate in Your society of servitors and served. You are the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead; no one can excel You, nor can anyone 
come up to an equal level with You. The perfect social system is that in 
which You remain in the center, being served as the Supreme, and all 
others engage as Your servitors. In such a perfectly constructed society, 
everyone can remain eternally happy and blissful. 

"My Lord, You have stated that only the beggars praise Your glories, and 
that is also perfectly correct. But who are those beggars? Those beggars 
are all exalted devotees, liberated personalities and those in the 
renounced order of life. They are all great souls and devotees who have 
no other business than to glorify You. Such great souls forgive even the 
worst offender. These so-called beggars execute their spiritual 
advancement in life, tolerating all tribulations in the material world. My 
dear husband, do not think that I accepted You as my husband out of my 
inexperience; actually, I followed all these great souls. I followed the 
path of these great beggars and decided to surrender my life unto Your 
lotus feet. 



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"You have said that You are penniless, and that is correct, for You 
distribute Yourself completely to these great souls and devotees. 
Knowing this fact perfectly well, I rejected even such great personalities 
as Lord Brahma and King Indra. My Lord, the great time factor acts 
under Your direction only. The time factor is so great and powerful that 
within moments it can effect devastation anywhere within the creation. 
Considering all these factors, I thought Jarasandha, Sisupala and similar 
princes who wanted to marry Me to be no more important than ordinary 
insects. 

"My dear all-powerful son of Vasudeva, Your statement that You have 
taken shelter within the water of the ocean, being afraid of all the great 
princes, is quite suitable, but my experience with You contradicts this. I 
have actually seen that You kidnapped me forcibly in the presence of all 
these princes. At the time of my marriage ceremony, simply by giving a 
jerk to the string of Your bow, You very easily drove the others away and 
kindly gave me shelter at Your lotus feet. I still remember vividly how 
You kidnapped me in the same way that a lion forcibly takes its share of 
hunted booty, driving away all small animals within the twinkling of an 
eye. 

"My dear lotus-eyed Lord, I cannot understand Your statement that 
women and other persons who have taken shelter under Your lotus feet 
pass their days only in bereavement. From the history of the world we 
can see that princes like Ariga, Prthu, Bharata, Yayati and Gaya were all 
great emperors of the world, and there were no competitors to their 
exalted positions. But in order to achieve the favor of Your lotus feet, 
they renounced their exalted positions and entered the forest to practice 
penances and austerities. When they voluntarily accepted such a 
position, accepting Your lotus feet as all in all, does it mean that they 
were in lamentation and bereavement? 

"My dear Lord, You have advised me that I can still select another from 
the princely order and divorce myself of Your companionship. But, my 
dear Lord, it is perfectly well known to me that You are the reservoir of 
all good qualities. Great saintly persons like Narada Muni are always 
engaged simply in glorifying Your transcendental characteristics. 
Someone who simply takes shelter of such a saintly person immediately 
becomes freed from all material contamination. And when he comes in 



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direct contact with Your service, the goddess of fortune agrees to bestow 
all her blessings. Under the circumstances, what woman who has once 
heard of Your glories from authoritative sources and has somehow or 
other relished the nectarean fragrance of Your lotus feet would be 
foolish enough to agree to marry someone of this material world who is 
always afraid of death, disease, old age and rebirth? I have therefore 
accepted Your lotus feet not without consideration but after mature and 
deliberate decision. My dear Lord, You are the master of the three 
worlds. You can fulfill all the desires of all Your devotees in this world 
and the next because You are the Supreme Soul of everyone. I have 
therefore selected You as my husband, considering You to be the only fit 
personality. You may throw me in any species of life according to the 
reactions of my fruitive activities, and I haven't the least concern for 
this. My only ambition is that I may always remain fast to Your lotus 
feet, for You can deliver Your devotees from illusory material existence 
and are always prepared to distribute Yourself to Your devotees. 
"My dear Lord, You have advised me to select one of the princes such as 
Sisupala, Jarasandha or Dantavakra, but what is their position in this 
world? They are always engaged in hard labor to maintain their 
household life, just like the bulls working hard day and night with an oil- 
pressing machine. They are compared to asses, beasts of burden. They 
are always dishonored like dogs, and they are miserly like cats. They 
have sold themselves like slaves to their wives. Any unfortunate woman 
who has never heard of Your glories may accept such a man as her 
husband, but a woman who has learned about You — that You are praised 
not only in this world but in the halls of the great demigods like Lord 
Brahma and Lord Siva — will not accept anyone besides You as her 
husband. A man within this material world is just a dead body. In fact, 
superficially, the living entity is covered by this body, which is nothing 
but a bag of skin decorated with a beard and mustache, hairs on the 
body, nails on the fingers, and hairs on the head. Within this decorated 
bag are bunches of muscles, bundles of bones, and pools of blood, always 
mixed with stool, urine, mucus, bile and polluted air and enjoyed by 
different kinds of insects and germs. A foolish woman accepts such a 
dead body as her husband and, in sheer misunderstanding, loves him as 
her dear companion. This is possible only because such a woman has 



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never relished the ever-blissful fragrance of Your lotus feet. 
"My dear lotus-eyed husband, You are self-satisfied. You do not care 
whether or not I am beautiful or qualified; You are not at all concerned 
about it. Therefore Your nonattachment for me is not at all astonishing; 
it is quite natural. You cannot be attached to any woman, however 
exalted her position and beauty. Whether You are attached to me or not, 
may my devotion and attention be always engaged at Your lotus feet. 
The material mode of passion is also Your creation, so when You 
passionately glance upon me, I accept it as the greatest boon of my life. I 
am ambitious only for such auspicious moments." 
After hearing Rukmini's statement and her clarification of each and 
every word He had used to arouse her anger of love toward Him, Krsna 
addressed RukminI as follows: "My dear chaste wife, My dear princess, I 
expected such an explanation from you, and only for this purpose did I 
speak all those joking words, so that you might be cheated of the real 
point of view. Now My purpose has been served. The wonderful 
explanation you have given to My every word is completely factual and 
approved by Me. O most beautiful RukminI, you are My dearmost wife. I 
am greatly pleased to understand how much love you have for Me. Please 
take it for granted that no matter what ambition and desire you might 
have and no matter what you might expect from Me, I am always at your 
service. And it is a fact also that My devotees, My dearmost friends and 
servitors, are always free from material contamination, even though they 
are not inclined to ask such liberation from Me. My devotees never 
desire anything from Me except to be engaged in My service. And yet 
because they are completely dependent upon Me, even if they are found 
to ask something from Me, that is not material. Such ambitions and 
desires, instead of becoming the cause of material bondage, become the 
source of liberation from this material world. 

"My dear chaste and pious wife, I have tested, on the basis of strict 
chastity, your love for your husband, and you have passed the 
examination most successfully. I have purposely agitated you by speaking 
many words not applicable to your character, but I am surprised to see 
that not a pinch of your devotion to Me has been deviated from its fixed 
position. My dear wife, I am the bestower of all benedictions, even up to 
the standard of liberation from this material world, and it is I only who 



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can stop the continuation of material existence and call one back home, 
back to Godhead. One whose devotion for Me is adulterated worships 
Me for some material benefit, just to keep himself in the world of 
material happiness, culminating in the pleasure of sex life. One who 
engages himself in severe penance and austerities just to attain this 
material happiness is certainly under the illusion of My external energy. 
Persons who are engaged in My devotional service simply for the 
purpose of material gain and sense gratification are certainly very 
foolish, for material happiness based on sex life is available in the most 
abominable species of life, such as the hogs and dogs. No one should try 
to approach Me for such happiness, which is available even if one is put 
into a hellish condition of life. It is better, therefore, for persons who are 
simply after material happiness and not after Me to remain in that 
hellish condition." 

Material contamination is so strong that everyone is working very hard 
day and night for material happiness. The show of religion, austerity, 
penance, humanitarianism, philanthropy, politics, science — everything 
is aimed at realizing some material benefit. For the immediate success of 
material benefit, materialistic persons generally worship different 
demigods, and under the spell of material propensities they sometimes 
take to the devotional service of the Lord. But sometimes it so happens 
that if a person sincerely serves the Lord and at the same time maintains 
material ambitions, the Lord very kindly removes the sources of material 
happiness. Not finding any recourse in material happiness, the devotee 
then engages himself absolutely in pure devotional service. 
Lord Krsna continued, "My dear best of queens, I clearly understand 
that you have no material ambition; your only purpose is to serve Me, 
and you have long been engaged in unalloyed service. Exemplary 
unalloyed devotional service not only can bestow upon the devotee 
liberation from this material world, but it also promotes him to the 
spiritual world to be eternally engaged in My service. Persons too 
addicted to material happiness cannot render such service. Women 
whose hearts are polluted and full of material desires devise various 
means of sense gratification while outwardly showing themselves to be 
great devotees. 
"My dear honored wife, although I have thousands of wives, I do not 



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think that any one of them can love Me more than you. The practical 
proof of your extraordinary position is that you had never seen Me 
before our marriage; you had simply heard about Me from a third person, 
and still your faith in Me was so fixed that even in the presence of many 
qualified, rich and beautiful men of the royal order, you did not select 
any one of them as your husband but insisted on having Me. You 
neglected all the princes present, and very politely you sent Me a 
confidential letter inviting Me to kidnap you. While I was kidnapping 
you, your elder brother Rukmi violently protested and fought with Me. 
As a result of the fight, I defeated him mercilessly and disfigured his 
body. At the time of Aniruddha's marriage, when we were all playing 
chess, there was another fight with your brother Rukmi on a 
controversial verbal point, and My elder brother, Balarama, finally killed 
him. I was surprised to see that you did not utter even a word of protest 
over this incident. Because of your great anxiety that you might be 
separated from Me, you suffered all the consequences without speaking 
even a word. As the result of this great silence, My dear wife, you have 
purchased Me for all time; I have come eternally under your control. 
You sent your messenger inviting Me to kidnap you, and when you 
found that there was a little delay in My arriving on the spot, you saw 
the whole world as vacant. At that time you concluded that your 
beautiful body was not fit to be touched by anyone else; therefore, 
thinking that I was not coming, you decided to commit suicide and 
immediately end that body. My dear Rukmini, such great and exalted 
love for Me will always remain within My soul. As far as I am concerned, 
it is not within My power to repay you for your unalloyed devotion to 
Me." 

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, certainly has no business 
being anyone's husband or son or father, because everything belongs to 
Him and everyone is under His control. He does not require anyone's 
help for His satisfaction. He is dtmdrdma, self-satisfied; He can derive all 
pleasure by Himself, without anyone's help. But when the Lord descends 
to play the part of a human being, He plays a role either as a husband, 
son, friend or enemy in full perfection. As such, when He was playing as 
the perfect husband of the queens, especially of Rukminiji, He enjoyed 
conjugal love in complete perfection. 



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According to Vedic culture, although polygamy is allowed, none of one's 
wives should be ill-treated. In other words, one may take many wives 
only if he is able to satisfy all of them equally as an ideal householder; 
otherwise it is not allowed. Lord Krsna is the world teacher; therefore, 
even though He had no need for a wife, He expanded Himself into as 
many forms as He had wives, and He lived with them as an ideal 
householder, observing the regulative principles, rules and commitments 
in accordance with the Vedic injunctions and the social laws and 
customs of society. For each of His 16,108 wives, He simultaneously 
maintained different palaces, different establishments and different 
atmospheres. Thus the Lord, although one, exhibited Himself as 16,108 
ideal householders. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixtieth Chapter of Krsna, 
"Talks Between Krsna and Rukminl." 



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CHAPTER SIXTY-ONE 
The Genealogy of the Family of Krsna 

Krsna had 16,108 wives, and in each of them He begot ten sons, all of 
them equal to their father in the opulences of strength, beauty, wisdom, 
fame, wealth and renunciation. "Like father like son." All the 16,108 
wives of Krsna were princesses, and when each saw that Krsna was 
always present in her respective palace and did not leave home, she 
considered Krsna a henpecked husband who was very much attached to 
her. Every one of them thought that Krsna was her very obedient 
husband, but actually Krsna had no attraction for any of them. 
Although each thought that she was the only wife of Krsna and was 
very, very dear to Him, Lord Krsna, being dtmdrdma, self-sufficient, was 
neither dear nor inimical to any one of them; He was equal to all the 
wives and treated them as a perfect husband just to please them. For 
Him, there was no need for even a single wife. In fact, since they were 
women, the wives could not understand the exalted position of Krsna, 
nor the truths about Him. 

All the princesses who were wives of Krsna were exquisitely beautiful, 
and each one of them was attracted by Krsna's eyes, which were just like 
lotus petals, and by His beautiful face, long arms, beautiful ears, pleasing 
smile, humorous talk and sweet words. Influenced by these features of 
Krsna, they all used to dress themselves very attractively, desiring to 
attract Him by their feminine bodily appeal. They exhibited their 
feminine characteristics by smiling and moving their eyebrows, thus 
shooting sharp arrows of conjugal love just to awaken Krsna's lusty 
desires for them. Still, they could not arouse Krsna's mind or His sexual 
appetite. This means that Krsna never had any sexual relations with any 
of His many wives, save and except to beget children. 
The queens of Dvaraka were so fortunate that they got Lord Sri Krsna as 
their husband and personal companion, although He is not approachable 
by exalted demigods like Brahma. Lord Krsna and His queens remained 
together as husband and wife, and Krsna, as an ideal husband, treated 
them in such a way that at every moment there was an increase of 
transcendental bliss in their smiling exchanges, talking and mixing 



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together. Each and every wife had hundreds and thousands of 
maidservants, yet when Krsna entered the palaces of His thousands of 
wives, each one of them used to receive Krsna personally by seating Him 
in a nice chair, worshiping Him with all requisite paraphernalia, 
personally washing His lotus feet, offering Him betel nuts, massaging His 
legs to relieve them from fatigue, fanning Him to make Him 
comfortable, offering all kinds of scented sandalwood pulp, oils and 
aromatics, putting flower garlands on His neck, dressing His hair, getting 
Him to lie down on the bed and assisting Him in taking His bath. Thus 
they served always in every respect, especially when Krsna was eating. 
They always engaged in the service of the Lord. 

Of the 16,108 queens of Krsna, each of whom had ten sons, there is the 
following list of the sons of the first eight queens. By Rukmini, Krsna 
had the following ten sons: Pradyumna, Carudesna, Sudesna, Carudeha, 
Sucaru, Carugupta, Bhadracaru, Carucandra, Vicaru and Cam. None of 
them were inferior in their qualities to their divine father, Lord Krsna. 
The names of Satyabhama's ten sons are as follows: Bhanu, Subhanu, 
Svarbhanu, Prabhanu, Bhanuman, Candrabhanu, Brhadbhanu, 
Atibhanu, Sribhanu and Pratibhanu. The ten sons of the next queen, 
Jambavati, were headed by Samba. Their names are as follows: Samba, 
Sumitra, Purujit, Satajit, Sahasrajit, Vijaya, Citraketu, Vasuman, 
Dravida and Kratu. Lord Krsna was specifically very affectionate to the 
sons of Jambavati. The ten sons Lord Krsna had by His wife Satya, the 
daughter of King Nagnajit, are as follows: Vira, Candra, Asvasena, 
Citragu, Vegavan, Vrsa, Ama, Sariku, Vasu and Kunti. Amongst all of 
them, Kunti was very powerful. Krsna's ten sons by Kalindi are as 
follows: Sruta, Kavi, Vrsa, Vira, Subahu, Bhadra, Santi, Darsa, 
Purnamasa and Somaka, the youngest son. The ten sons Lord Krsna 
begot in His next wife, Laksmana, the daughter of the king of Madras 
province, were named Praghosa, Gatravan, Sirhha, Bala, Prabala, 
Urdhvaga, Mahasakti, Saha, Oja and Aparajita. The ten sons of His 
next wife, Mitravinda, were as follows: Vrka, Harsa, Anila, Grdhra, 
Vardhana, Unnada, Mahamsa, Pavana, Vahni and Ksudhi. The ten sons 
of His next wife, Bhadra, were named Sangramajit, Brhatsena, Sura, 
Praharana, Arijit, Jaya, Subhadra, Varna, Ayur and Satyaka. Besides 
these eight chief queens, Krsna had 16,100 other wives, and all of them 



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also had ten sons each. 

The eldest son of Rukmini, Pradyumna, was married with MayavatI from 
his very birth, and afterwards he married Rukmavati, the daughter of his 
maternal uncle, Rukmi. From Rukmavati, Pradyumna had a son named 
Aniruddha. In this way, Krsna's family — Krsna and His wives, along 
with their sons and grandsons and even great-grandsons — all combined 
together to include very nearly one billion family members. 
Rukmi, the elder brother of Krsna's first wife, Rukmini, was greatly 
harassed and insulted in his fight with Krsna, but on the request of 
Rukmini his life was saved. Since then Rukmi held a great grudge 
against Krsna and was always inimical toward Him. Nevertheless, his 
daughter married Krsna' son, and his granddaughter married Krsna's 
grandson Aniruddha. This fact appeared a little astonishing to Maharaja 
Pariksit when he heard it from Sukadeva Gosvami. "I am surprised that 
Rukmi and Krsna, who were so greatly inimical to one another, could 
again be united by marital relationships between their descendants." 
Pariksit Maharaja was curious about the mystery of this incident, and 
therefore he inquired further from Sukadeva Gosvami. Because 
Sukadeva Gosvami was a perfect yogi, nothing was hidden from his 
power of insight. A perfect yogi like Sukadeva Gosvami can see past, 
present and future in all details. Therefore, from such yogis or mystics 
nothing can be concealed. When Pariksit Maharaja inquired from 
Sukadeva Gosvami, Sukadeva Gosvami answered as follows. 
Pradyumna, the eldest son of Krsna, born of Rukmini, was Cupid 
himself. He was so beautiful and attractive that the daughter of Rukmi, 
namely Rukmavati, could not select any husband other than Pradyumna 
during her svayarhvara. Therefore, in that selection meeting, she 
garlanded Pradyumna in the presence of all the other princes. When 
there was a fight among the princes, Pradyumna came out victorious, 
and therefore Rukmi was obliged to offer his beautiful daughter to 
Pradyumna. Although enmity always blazed in Rukml's heart because of 
his having been insulted by Krsna's kidnapping of his sister, Rukmini, 
Rukmi could not resist consenting to the marriage ceremony just to 
please Rukmini when his daughter selected Pradyumna as her husband. 
And so Pradyumna became the son-in-law as well as the nephew of 
Rukmi. Besides the ten sons described above, Rukmini had one beautiful 



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219 



daughter with big eyes, and she was married to the son of Krtavarma, 
whose name was Ball. 

Although Rukml was a veritable enemy of Krsna, he had great affection 
for his sister, Rukmini, and wanted to please her in all respects. On this 
account, when Rukmini's grandson Aniruddha was to be married, Rukml 
offered his granddaughter Rocana to Aniruddha. Such marriage 
between immediate cousins is not very much sanctioned by the Vedic 
culture, but in order to please Rukmini, Rukml offered his daughter and 
granddaughter to the son and grandson of Krsna. In this way, when the 
negotiation of the marriage of Aniruddha with Rocana was complete, a 
big marriage party accompanied Aniruddha and started from Dvaraka. 
They traveled until they reached Bhojakata, which Rukml had colonized 
after his sister had been kidnapped by Krsna. This marriage party was 
led by the grandfather, namely Lord Krsna, accompanied by Lord 
Balarama, as well as Krsna's first wife, Rukmini, His son Pradyumna, 
Jambavati's son Samba and many other relatives and family members. 
They reached the town of Bhojakata, and the marriage ceremony was 
peacefully performed. 

The King of Kalinga was a friend of Rukml and gave him the ill advice 
to play chess with Balarama and thus defeat Him in a bet. Among 
ksatriya kings, betting and gambling in chess was not uncommon. If 
someone challenged a ksatriya to play on the chessboard, the ksatriya 
could not deny the challenge. Sri Balaramajl was not a very expert chess 
player, and this was known to the King of Kalinga. So Rukml was 
advised to retaliate against the family members of Krsna by challenging 
Balarama to play chess. Although not an expert chess player, Sri 
Balaramajl was very enthusiastic in sporting activities. He accepted 
Rukmi's challenge and sat down to play. Betting was with gold coins, and 
Balarama first of all challenged with one hundred coins, then one 
thousand coins, then ten thousand coins. Each time, Balarama lost, and 
Rukml was victorious. 

Sri Balarama's losing the game was an opportunity for the King of 
Kalinga to criticize Krsna and Balarama. Thus the King of Kalinga was 
talking jokingly and purposefully showing his teeth to Balarama. Because 
Balarama was the loser in the game, He was a little intolerant of the 
sarcastic joking words and became somewhat agitated. Rukml again 



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challenged Balarama and made a bet of a hundred thousand gold coins, 
but fortunately this time Balarama won. Nonetheless, out of 
cunningness Rukmi claimed that Balarama was the loser and that he 
himself had won. Because of this lie, Balaramaji became most angry with 
Rukmi. His agitation was so sudden and great that it appeared like a tidal 
wave in the ocean on a full-moon day. Balarama's eyes are naturally 
reddish, and when He became agitated and angry His eyes became more 
reddish. This time He challenged and made a bet of a hundred million 
coins. 

Again Balarama was the winner according to the rules of chess, but 
Rukmi again cunningly claimed that he had won. Rukmi appealed to the 
princes present, and he especially mentioned the name of the King of 
Kalinga. During the dispute there was a voice from the sky, and it 
announced that for all honest purposes Balarama was the actual winner 
of this game, that He was being abused, and that the statement of Rukmi 
that he had won was absolutely false. 

In spite of this divine voice, Rukmi insisted that Balarama had lost, and 
by his persistence it appeared that he had death upon his head. Falsely 
puffed up by the ill advice of his friend, he did not give much 
importance to the oracle, and he began to criticize Balaramaji. He said, 
"My dear Balaramaji, You two brothers, cowherd boys only, may be very 
expert in tending cows, but how can You be expert in playing chess or 
shooting arrows on the battlefield? These arts are well known only to the 
princely order." Hearing this kind of pinching talk by Rukmi and 
hearing the loud laughter of all the other princes present there, Lord 
Balarama became as agitated as burning cinders. He immediately took 
His club in His hand and, without further talk, struck Rukmi on the 
head. From that one blow, Rukmi fell down immediately and was dead 
and gone. Thus Rukmi was killed by Balarama on that auspicious 
occasion of Aniruddha's marriage. These things are not very uncommon 
in ksatriya society. 

The King of Kalinga, being afraid that he would be the next one 
attacked, fled from the scene. Before he could escape even a few steps, 
however, Balaramaji immediately captured him, and because the King 
had always shown his teeth while criticizing Balarama and Krsna, 
Balarama broke all the King's teeth with His club. The other princes 



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supporting the King of Kaliriga and Rukmi were also captured, and 
Balarama beat them with His club, breaking their legs and hands. They 
did not try to retaliate but thought it wise to run away from the bloody 
scene. 

During this strife between Balarama and Rukmi, Lord Krsna did not 
utter a word, for He knew that if He supported Balarama, Rukmini 
would be unhappy, and if He said that the killing of Rukmi was unjust, 
then Balarama would be unhappy. Therefore, Lord Krsna was silent on 
the death of His brother-in-law Rukmi on the occasion of His grandson's 
marriage. He did not disturb His affectionate relationship with either 
Balarama or Rukmini. After this, the bride and bridegroom were 
ceremoniously seated on the chariot, and they started for Dvaraka, 
accompanied by the bridegroom's party. The bridegroom's party was 
always protected by Lord Krsna, the killer of the Madhu demon. Thus 
they left Rukml's kingdom, Bhojakata, and happily started for Dvaraka. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixty-first Chapter of Krsna, 
"The Genealogy of the Family of Krsna." 



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CHAPTER SIXTY-TWO 
The Meeting of Usa and Aniruddha 

The meeting of Aniruddha and Usa, which caused a great fight between 
Lord Krsna and Lord Siva, is very mysterious and interesting. Maharaja 
Pariksit was eager to hear the whole story from Sukadeva Gosvami, and 
thus Sukadeva narrated it. "My dear King, you must have heard the 
name of King Bali. He was a great devotee who gave away in charity all 
that he had — namely, the whole world — to Lord Vamana, the 
incarnation of Visnu as a dwarf brdhmana. King Bali had one hundred 
sons, and the eldest of all of them was Banasura." 

This great hero Banasura, born of Maharaja Bali, was a great devotee of 
Lord Siva and was always ready to render service unto him. Because of 
his devotion, he achieved a great position in society, and he was honored 
in every respect. Actually, he was very intelligent and liberal also, and 
his activities are all praiseworthy because he never deviated from his 
promise and word of honor; he was very truthful and fixed in his vow. In 
those days, he was ruling over the city of Sonitapura. By the grace of 
Lord Siva, Banasura had one thousand arms, and he became so powerful 
that even demigods like King Indra were serving him as most obedient 
servants. 

Long ago, when Lord Siva was dancing in his celebrated fashion called 
tdndava-nrtya, for which he is known as Nataraja, Banasura helped Lord 
Siva in his dancing by rhythmically beating drums with his one 
thousand hands. Lord Siva is well known as Asutosa ("very easily 
pleased"), and he is also very affectionate to his devotees. He is a great 
protector for persons who take shelter of him and is the master of all 
living entities in this material world. Being pleased with Banasura, he 
said, "Whatever you desire you can have from me, for I am very much 
pleased with you." Banasura replied, "My dear lord, if you please, you can 
remain in my city just to protect me from the hands of my enemies." 
Once upon a time, Banasura came to offer his respects to Lord Siva. By 
touching the lotus feet of Lord Siva with his helmet, which was shining 
like the sun globe, he offered his obeisances unto him. While offering his 
respectful obeisances, Banasura said, "My dear lord, anyone who has not 



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223 



fulfilled his ambition will be able to do so by taking shelter of your lotus 
feet, which are just like a desire tree from which one can take anything 
he desires. My dear lord, you have given me one thousand arms, but I do 
not know what to do with them. They are simply a burden; I cannot use 
them properly in fighting because I cannot find anyone competent to 
fight with me except your lordship, the original father of the material 
world. Sometimes I feel a great tendency to fight with my arms, and I go 
out to find a suitable warrior. Unfortunately, everyone flees, knowing 
my extraordinary power. Being baffled at not finding a match, I satisfy 
the itching of my arms by beating them against the mountains. In this 
way, I tear many great mountains to pieces." 

Lord Siva realized that his benediction had become troublesome for 
Banasura and addressed him, "You rascal! You are very eager to fight, 
but since you have no one to fight with, you are distressed. Although 
you think that there is no one in the world to oppose you except me, I 
say that you will eventually find such a competent person. At that time 
your days will come to an end, and your flag of victory will no longer fly. 
Then you will see your false prestige smashed to pieces!" 
After hearing Lord Siva's statement, Banasura, who was very much 
puffed up with his power, became elated that he would meet someone 
able to smash him to pieces. Banasura then returned home with great 
pleasure, and he always waited for the day when the suitable fighter 
would come to cut down his strength. He was such a foolish demon. It 
appears that foolish, demoniac human beings, when unnecessarily 
overpowered with material opulences, want to exhibit these opulences, 
and such foolish people feel satisfaction when these opulences are 
exhausted. The idea is that they do not know how to expend their 
energy for right causes, being unaware of the benefit of Krsna 
consciousness. Actually, there are two classes of men — one is Krsna 
conscious, the other is non-Krsna conscious. The non-Krsna conscious 
men are generally devoted to the demigods, whereas the Krsna conscious 
men are devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krsna 
conscious persons utilize everything for the service of the Lord. The 
non-Krsna conscious persons utilize everything for sense gratification, 
and Banasura is a perfect example of such a person. He was very eager to 
utilize for his own satisfaction his extraordinary power to fight. Not 



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finding any combatant, he struck his powerful hands against the 
mountains, breaking them to pieces. In contrast to this, Arjuna also 
possessed extraordinary powers for fighting, but he utilized them only for 
Krsna. 

Banasura had a very beautiful daughter, whose name was Usa. When she 
had attained the age of marriage and was sleeping amongst her many 
girlfriends, she dreamt one night that Aniruddha was by her side and 
that she was enjoying a conjugal relationship with him, although she had 
never actually seen him or heard of him before. She awoke from her 
dream exclaiming very loudly, "My dear beloved, where are you?" Being 
exposed to her other friends in this way, she became a little bit ashamed. 
One of Usa's girlfriends was Citralekha, who was the daughter of 
Banasura's prime minister. Citralekha and Usa were intimate friends, 
and out of great curiosity Citralekha asked, "My dear beautiful princess, 
as of yet you are not married to any young boy, nor have you seen any 
boys until now; so I am surprised that you are exclaiming like this. Who 
are you searching after? Who is your suitable match?" 
On hearing Citralekha's inquiries, Usa replied, "My dear friend, in my 
dream I saw a nice young man who is very, very beautiful. His 
complexion is swarthy, his eyes are just like lotus petals, and he is 
dressed in yellow garments. His arms are very long, and his general 
bodily features are so pleasing that any young girl would be attracted. I 
feel much pride in saying that this beautiful young man was kissing me, 
and I was very much enjoying the nectar of his kissing. But I am sorry to 
inform you that just after this he disappeared, and I have been thrown 
into the whirlpool of disappointment. My dear friend, I am very anxious 
to find this wonderful young man, the desired lord of my heart." 
After hearing Usa's words, Citralekha immediately replied, "I can 
understand your bereavement, and I assure you that if this boy is within 
these three worlds — the upper, middle and lower planetary systems — I 
must find him for your satisfaction. If you can identify him from your 
dream, I shall bring you peace of mind. Now, let me draw some pictures 
for you to inspect, and as soon as you find the picture of your desired 
husband, let me know. It doesn't matter where he is; I know the art of 
bringing him here. So, as soon as you identify him, I shall immediately 
arrange for it." 



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Citralekha, while talking, began to draw many pictures of the demigods 
inhabiting the higher planetary systems, then pictures of the 
Gandharvas, Siddhas, Caranas, Pannagas, Daityas, Vidyadharas and 
Yaksas, as well as many human beings. (The statements of Srlmad- 
Bhdgavatam and other Vedic literature prove definitely that on each and 
every planet there are living entities of different varieties. Therefore, it 
is foolish to assert that there are no living entities but those on this 
earth.) Citralekha painted many pictures. Among those of the human 
beings were the members of the Vrsni dynasty, including Vasudeva, the 
father of Krsna; Surasena, the grandfather of Krsna; Sri Balaramajl; Lord 
Krsna and many others. When Usa saw the picture of Pradyumna, she 
became a little bashful, but when she saw the picture of Aniruddha, she 
became so bashful that she immediately lowered her head and smiled, 
having found the man she was seeking. She identified the picture to 
Citralekha as that of the man who had stolen her heart. 
Citralekha was a great mystic yoginl, and as soon as Usa identified the 
picture, although neither of them had ever seen him or known his name, 
Citralekha could immediately understand that the picture was of 
Aniruddha, a grandson of Krsna. That very night, she traveled in outer 
space and within a very short time reached the city of Dvaraka, which 
was well protected by Lord Krsna. She entered the palace and found 
Aniruddha sleeping in his bedroom on a very opulent bed. Citralekha, 
by her mystic power, immediately brought Aniruddha, in that sleeping 
condition, to the city of Sonitapura so that Usa might see her desired 
husband. Usa immediately bloomed in happiness and began to enjoy the 
company of Aniruddha with great satisfaction. 

The palace in which Usa and Citralekha lived was so well fortified that 
it was impossible for any male to either enter or see inside. Usa and 
Aniruddha lived together in the palace, and day after day Usa's love for 
Aniruddha grew four times upon four. Usa pleased Aniruddha with 
valuable garments, flowers, garlands, scents and incense. By his bedside 
sitting place were other paraphernalia for residential purposes — nice 
drinks such as milk and sherbet and nice eatables which could be 
chewed or swallowed. Above all, she pleased him with sweet words and 
very obliging service. Usa worshiped Aniruddha as if he were the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead. By her excellent service, Usa made 



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226 



Aniruddha forget all other things and was able to draw his attention and 
love to her without deviation. In such an atmosphere of love and service, 
Aniruddha practically forgot himself and could not recall how many 
days he had been away from his real home. 

In due course of time, Usa exhibited some bodily symptoms by which it 
could be understood that she was having intercourse with a male friend. 
The symptoms were so prominent that her actions could no longer be 
concealed from anyone. Usa was always cheerful in the association of 
Aniruddha, and she did not know the bounds of her satisfaction. The 
housekeeper and the watchmen of the palace could guess very easily that 
she was having relations with a male friend, and without waiting for 
further developments, all of them informed their master, Banasura. In 
Vedic culture, an unmarried girl having association with a male is the 
greatest disgrace to the family, and so the caretakers cautiously informed 
their master that Usa was showing symptoms indicating a disgraceful 
association. The servants informed their master that they were not at all 
neglectful in guarding the house, being alert day and night against any 
young man who might enter. They were so careful that a male could not 
even see what was going on there, and so they were surprised that she 
had become contaminated. Since they could not trace out the reason for 
it, they submitted the whole situation before their master. 
Banasura was shocked to understand that his daughter Usa was no 
longer a virgin maiden. This weighed heavily on his heart, and without 
delay he rushed towards the palace where Usa was living. There he saw 
that Usa and Aniruddha were sitting together and talking. They looked 
very beautiful together, Aniruddha being the son of Pradyumna, who 
was Cupid himself. Banasura saw his daughter and Aniruddha as a 
suitable match, yet for family prestige he did not like the combination at 
all. Banasura could not understand who the boy actually was. He 
appreciated the fact that Usa could not have selected anyone in the 
three worlds more beautiful. Aniruddha's complexion was brilliant and 
swarthy. He was dressed in yellow garments and had eyes just like lotus 
petals. His arms were very long, and he had nice, curling, bluish hair. 
The glaring rays of his glittering earrings and the beautiful smile on his 
lips were certainly captivating. Still, Banasura was very angry. 
When Banasura saw him, Aniruddha was engaged in playing with Usa. 



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Aniruddha was nicely dressed, and Usa had garlanded him with various 
beautiful flowers. The reddish kunkuma powder put on the breasts of 
women was spotted here and there on the garland, indicating that Usa 
had embraced him. Banasura was struck with wonder that, even in his 
presence, Aniruddha was peacefully sitting in front of Usa. Aniruddha 
knew, however, that his would-be father-in-law was not at all pleased 
and that he was gathering many soldiers in the palace to attack him. 
Thus, not finding any other weapon, Aniruddha took hold of a big iron 
rod and stood up before Banasura and his soldiers. He firmly took a 
posture indicating that if attacked he would strike all of the soldiers 
down to the ground with the iron rod. Banasura and his company of 
soldiers saw that the boy was standing before them just like the 
superintendent of death with his invincible rod. Now, under the order 
of Banasura, the soldiers from all sides attempted to capture and arrest 
him. When they dared to come before him, Aniruddha struck them with 
the rod, breaking their heads, legs, arms and thighs, and one after 
another they fell to the ground. He killed them just as the leader of a 
pack of boars kills barking dogs, one after another. In this way, 
Aniruddha was able to escape the palace. 

Banasura knew various arts of fighting, and by the grace of Lord Siva he 
knew how to arrest his enemy by the use of a naga-pasa, snake-noose, 
and thus he seized Aniruddha as he came out of the palace. When Usa 
received the news that her father had arrested Aniruddha, she was 
overwhelmed with grief and confusion. Tears glided down from her eyes, 
and being unable to check herself, she began to cry very loudly. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixty-second Chapter of Krsna, 
"The Meeting of Usa and Aniruddha." 



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CHAPTER SIXTY-THREE 
Lord Krsna Fights with Banasura 

When the four months of the rainy season passed and Aniruddha had 
still not returned home, all the members of the Yadu family became 
much perturbed. They could not understand how the boy was missing. 
Fortunately, one day the great sage Narada came and informed the 
family about Aniruddha's disappearance from the palace. He explained 
how Aniruddha had been carried to the city of Sonitapura, the capital of 
Banasura's empire, and how Banasura had arrested him with the ndga- 
pasa, even though Aniruddha had defeated his soldiers. This news was 
given in detail, and the whole story was disclosed. Then the members of 
the Yadu dynasty, all of whom had great affection for Krsna, prepared to 
attack the city of Sonitapura. Practically all the leaders of the family, 
including Pradyumna, Satyaki, Gada, Samba, Sarana, Nanda, Upananda 
and Bhadra, combined together and gathered eighteen aksauhinl 
military divisions into phalanxes. Then they all went to Sonitapura and 
surrounded it with soldiers, elephants, horses and chariots. 
Banasura heard that the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty were attacking the 
whole city, tearing down various walls, gates and nearby gardens. 
Becoming very angry, he immediately ordered his soldiers, who were of 
equal caliber, to go and face them. Lord Siva was so kind to Banasura 
that he personally came as the commander in chief of the military force, 
assisted by his heroic sons Karttikeya and Ganapati. Nandisvara, Lord 
Siva, seated on his favorite bull, led the fighting against Lord Krsna and 
Balarama. We can simply imagine how fierce the fighting was — Lord 
Siva with his valiant sons on one side and Lord Krsna, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, and His elder brother, Sri Balaramaji, on the 
other. The fighting was so fierce that those who saw the battle were 
struck with wonder, and the hairs on their bodies stood up. Lord Siva 
was engaged in fighting directly with Lord Krsna, Pradyumna was 
engaged with Karttikeya, and Lord Balarama was engaged with 
Banasura's commander in chief, Kumbhanda, who was assisted by 
Kupakarna. Samba, the son of Krsna, fought the son of Banasura, and 
Banasura fought Satyaki, commander in chief of the Yadu dynasty. In 



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this way the fighting was waged. 

News of the fighting spread all over the universe. Demigods such as Lord 
Brahma, from higher planetary systems, along with great sages and 
saintly persons, Siddhas, Caranas and Gandharvas — all being very 
curious to see the fight between Lord Siva and Lord Krsna and their 
assistants — hovered over the battlefield in their airplanes. Lord Siva is 
called the Bhuta-natha, being assisted by various types of powerful 
ghosts and denizens of the inferno — Bhutas, Pretas, Pramathas, 
Guhyakas, Dakinis, Pisacas, Kusmandas, Vetalas, Vinayakas and 
Brahma-raksasas. (Of all kinds of ghosts, the Brahma-raksasas are very 
powerful. They are brdhmanas who after death have entered the ghostly 
species of life.) 

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, simply drove all these 
ghosts away from the battlefield with the arrows from His celebrated 
bow, Sarnga-dhanur. Lord Siva then began to release all his selected 
weapons against the Personality of Godhead. Lord Sri Krsna, without 
any difficulty, counteracted all these weapons with counterweapons. He 
counteracted the brahmdstra, similar to the atomic bomb, by another 
brahmdstra, and an air weapon by a mountain weapon. When Lord Siva 
released a particular weapon bringing about a violent hurricane on the 
battlefield, Lord Krsna presented just the opposing element, a mountain 
weapon, which checked the hurricane on the spot. Similarly when Lord 
Siva released his weapon of devastating fire, Krsna counteracted it with 
torrents of rain. 

At last, when Lord Siva released his personal weapon, called Pasupata- 
astra, Krsna immediately counteracted it by the Narayana-astra. Lord 
Siva then became exasperated in fighting with Lord Krsna. Krsna then 
took the opportunity to release His yawning weapon. When this weapon 
is released, the opposing party becomes tired, stops fighting and begins to 
yawn. Consequently, Lord Siva became so fatigued that he refused to 
fight anymore and began yawning. Krsna was now able to turn His 
attention from the attack of Lord Siva to the efforts of Banasura, and 
He began to kill Banasura's personal soldiers with swords and clubs. 
Meanwhile, Lord Krsna's son Pradyumna was fighting fiercely with 
Karttikeya, the commander in chief of the demigods. Karttikeya was 
wounded, and his body was bleeding profusely. In this condition, he left 



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the battlefield and, without fighting anymore, rode away on the back of 
his peacock carrier. Similarly, Lord Balarama smashed Banasura's 
commander in chief, Kumbhanda, with the strokes of His club. 
Kupakarna was also wounded in this way, and both he and Kumbhanda 
fell on the battlefield, Kumbhanda being fatally wounded. Without 
guidance, all of Banasura's soldiers scattered here and there. 
When Banasura saw that his soldiers and commanders had been 
defeated, his anger only increased. He thought it wise to stop fighting 
with Satyaki, Krsna's commander in chief, and instead directly attack 
Lord Krsna. Now having the opportunity to use his one thousand arms, 
he rushed towards Krsna, simultaneously working five hundred bows and 
two thousand arrows. Such a foolish person could never measure Krsna's 
strength. Immediately, without difficulty, Krsna cut each of Banasura's 
bows into two pieces and, to check him from going further, made the 
horses of his chariot lie on the ground so that the chariot broke to 
pieces. After doing this, Krsna blew His conchshell, Pancajanya. 
There was a demigoddess named Kotara who was worshiped by Banasura, 
and their relationship was as mother and son. Mother Kotara was upset 
that Banasura's life was in danger, so she appeared on the scene. With 
naked body and scattered hair, she stood before Lord Krsna. Sri Krsna 
did not like the sight of this naked woman, and to avoid seeing her He 
turned His face. Banasura, getting this chance to escape Krsna's attack, 
left the battlefield. All the strings of his bows were broken, and there 
was no chariot or driver, so he had no alternative but to return to his 
city. He lost everything in the battle. 

Being greatly harassed by the arrows of Krsna, all the associates of Lord 
Siva, the hobgoblins and ghostly Bhutas, Pretas and ksatriyas, left the 
battlefield. Lord Siva then took to his last resort. He released his greatest 
death weapon, known as Siva-jvara, which destroys by excessive 
temperature. It is said that at the end of creation the sun becomes twelve 
times more scorching than usual. This twelve-times-hotter temperature 
is called Siva-jvara. When the Siva-jvara personified was released, he 
had three heads and three legs, and as he came toward Krsna it appeared 
that he was burning everything to ashes. He was so powerful that he 
made blazing fire appear in all directions, and Krsna observed that he 
was specifically coming toward Him. 



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231 



As there is a Siva-jvara weapon, there is also a Narayana-jvara weapon, 
which is represented by excessive cold. When there is excessive heat, 
one can somehow or other tolerate it, but when there is excessive cold, 
everything collapses. This is actually experienced by a person at the time 
of death. At the time of death, the temperature of the body first of all 
increases to 107 degrees, and then the whole body collapses and 
immediately becomes as cold as ice. To counteract the scorching heat of 
the Siva-jvara, there is no other weapon but Narayana-jvara. 
Therefore, when Lord Krsna saw that the Siva-jvara had been released 
by Lord Siva, He had no recourse other than to release the Narayana- 
jvara. Lord Sri Krsna is the original Narayana and the controller of the 
Narayana-jvara weapon. When the Narayana-jvara was released, there 
was a great fight between the two jvaras. When excessive heat is 
counteracted by extreme cold, it is natural for the hot temperature to 
gradually reduce, and this is what occurred in the fight between the 
Siva-jvara and the Narayana-jvara. Gradually, the Siva-jvara's 
temperature diminished, and the Siva-jvara began to cry for help from 
Lord Siva, but Lord Siva was unable to help him in the presence of the 
Narayana-jvara. Unable to get any help from Lord Siva, the Siva-jvara 
could understand that he had no means of escape outside of 
surrendering unto Narayana, Lord Krsna Himself. Lord Siva, the 
greatest of the demigods, could not help him, what to speak of the lesser 
demigods, and therefore the Siva-jvara ultimately surrendered unto 
Krsna, bowing before Him and offering a prayer so that the Lord might 
be pleased and give him protection. 

This incident of the fight between the ultimate weapons of Lord Siva 
and Lord Krsna proves that if Krsna gives someone protection, no one 
can kill him. But if Krsna does not give one protection, then no one can 
save him. Lord Siva is called Mahadeva, the greatest of all the demigods, 
although sometimes Lord Brahma is considered the greatest of all the 
demigods because he can create. However, Lord Siva can annihilate the 
creations of Brahma. Still, both Lord Brahma and Lord Siva act only in 
one capacity: Lord Brahma can create, and Lord Siva can annihilate. 
But neither of them can maintain. Lord Visnu, however, not only 
maintains but creates and annihilates also. Factually, the creation is not 
effected by Brahma, because Brahma himself is created by Lord Visnu. 



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232 



s s 

And Lord Siva is created, or born, of Brahma. The Siva-jvara thus 
understood that without Krsna, or Narayana, no one could help him. He 
therefore rightly took shelter of Lord Krsna and, with folded hands, 
began to pray as follows. 

"My dear Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You because You 
have unlimited potencies. No one can surpass Your potencies, and thus 
You are the Lord of everyone. Generally people consider Lord Siva the 
most powerful personality in the material world, but Lord Siva is not all- 
powerful; You are all-powerful. This is factual. You are the original 
consciousness, or knowledge. Without knowledge, or consciousness, 
nothing can be powerful. A material thing may be very powerful, but 
without the touch of consciousness it cannot act. A material machine 
may be gigantic and wonderful, but without the touch of someone 
conscious and in knowledge, the material machine is useless for all 
purposes. My Lord, You are complete knowledge, and there is not a 
pinch of material contamination in Your personality. Lord Siva may be a 
powerful demigod because of his specific power to annihilate the whole 
creation, and, similarly, Lord Brahma may be very powerful because he 
can create the entire universe, but actually neither Brahma nor Lord 
Siva is the original cause of this cosmic manifestation. You are the 
Absolute Truth, the Supreme Brahman, and You are the original cause. 
The original cause of the cosmic manifestation is not the impersonal 
Brahman effulgence. That impersonal Brahman effulgence rests on Your 
personality." As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gltd, the cause of the 
impersonal Brahman is Lord Krsna. This Brahman effulgence is likened 
to the sunshine, which emanates from the sun globe. Therefore, 
impersonal Brahman is not the ultimate cause. The ultimate cause of 
everything is the supreme eternal form of Krsna. All material actions 
and reactions take place in the impersonal Brahman, but in the personal 
Brahman, the eternal form of Krsna, there is no action and reaction. 
The Siva-jvara continued, "Therefore, my Lord, Your body is completely 
peaceful, completely blissful and devoid of material contamination. In 
the material body there are actions and reactions of the three modes of 
material nature. The time factor is the most important element, above 
all others, because the material manifestation is effected by the agitation 
of time. Thus natural phenomena come into existence, and as soon as 



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233 



phenomena appear, fruitive activities are visible. As the result of these 
fruitive activities, a living entity takes his form. He acquires a particular 
nature packed up in a subtle body and gross body formed by the life air, 
the ego, the ten sense organs, the mind and the five gross elements. 
These then create the type of body which later becomes the root cause 
of various other bodies, which are acquired one after another by means 
of the transmigration of the soul. All these phenomenal manifestations 
are the combined actions of Your material energy. You, however, are the 
cause of this external energy, and thus You remain unaffected by the 
action and reaction of the different elements. And because You are 
transcendental to such compulsions of material energy, You are the 
supreme tranquillity. You are the last word in freedom from material 
contamination. I therefore take shelter at Your lotus feet, giving up all 
other shelter. 

"My dear Lord, Your appearance as the son of Vasudeva in Your role as a 
human being is one of the pastimes of Your complete freedom. To 
benefit Your devotees and vanquish the nondevotees, You appear in 
multi-incarnations. All such incarnations descend in fulfillment of Your 
promise in the Bhagavad-gltd that You appear as soon as there are 
discrepancies in the system of progressive life. When there are 
disturbances by irregular principles, my dear Lord, You appear by Your 
internal potency. Your main business is to protect and maintain the 
demigods and spiritually inclined persons and to maintain the standard 
of material law and order. Considering Your mission to maintain such 
law and order, Your violence toward the miscreants and demons is quite 
befitting. This is not the first time You have incarnated; it is to be 
understood that You have done so many, many times before. 
"My dear Lord, I beg to submit that I have been very greatly chastised by 
the release of Your Narayana-jvara, which is certainly very cooling yet 
at the same time severely dangerous and unbearable for all of us. My 
dear Lord, as long as one is forgetful of Krsna consciousness, driven by 
the spell of material desires and ignorant of the ultimate shelter at Your 
lotus feet, one who has accepted this material body becomes disturbed by 
the three miserable conditions of material nature. Because one does not 
surrender unto You, he continues to suffer perpetually." 
After hearing the Siva-jvara, Lord Krsna replied, "O three-headed one, I 



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234 



am pleased with your statement. Be assured that there will be no more 
suffering for you from the Narayana-jvara. Not only are you now free 
from fear of the Narayana-jvara, but anyone in the future who simply 
recollects this fight between you and the Narayana-jvara will also be 
freed from all kinds of fear." After hearing the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, the Siva-jvara offered respectful obeisances unto His lotus feet 
and left. 

In the meantime, Banasura somehow or other recovered from his 
setbacks and, with rejuvenated energy, returned to fight. This time 
Banasura appeared before Lord Krsna, who was seated on His chariot, 
with different kinds of weapons in his one thousand hands. Very much 
agitated, Banasura splashed his different weapons upon the body of Lord 
Krsna like torrents of rain. When Lord Krsna saw the weapons of 
Banasura coming at Him, like water coming out of a strainer, He took 
His sharp-edged Sudarsana disc and began to cut off the demon's one 
thousand arms, one after another, just as a gardener trims the twigs of a 
tree with sharp cutters. When Lord Siva saw that his devotee Banasura 
could not be saved even in his presence, he came to his senses and 
personally came before Lord Krsna and began to pacify Him by offering 
the following prayers. 

Lord Siva said, "My dear Lord, You are the worshipable object of the 
Vedic hymns. One who does not know You considers the impersonal 
brahmajyoti to be the ultimate Supreme Absolute Truth, without 
knowledge that You exist behind Your spiritual effulgence in Your 
eternal abode. My dear Lord, You are therefore called Parabrahman. 
Indeed, the words pararh brahman have been used in the Bhagavad-glta 
to identify You. Saintly persons who have completely cleansed their 
hearts of all material contamination can realize Your transcendental 
form, although You are all-pervading like the sky, unaffected by any 
material thing. Only the devotees can realize You, and no one else. In 
the impersonalists' conception of Your supreme existence, the sky is just 
like Your navel, fire is Your mouth, and water is Your semen. The 
heavenly planets are Your head, all the directions are Your ears, the 
earth (Urvi) is Your lotus feet, the moon is Your mind, and the sun is 
Your eye. As far as I am concerned, I act as Your ego. The ocean is Your 
abdomen, and the King of heaven, Indra, is Your arm. Trees and plants 



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are the hairs on Your body, the clouds are the hair on Your head, and 
Lord Brahma is Your intelligence. All the great progenitors, known as 
Prajapatis, are Your symbolic representatives. And religion is Your 
heart. The impersonal feature of Your supreme body is conceived of in 
this way, but You are ultimately the Supreme Person. The impersonal 
feature of Your supreme body is only a small expansion of Your energy. 
You are likened to the original fire, and Your expansions are its light 
and heat." 

Lord Siva continued, "My dear Lord, since You are manifested 
universally, the different parts of the universe are the different parts of 
Your body, and by Your inconceivable potency You can simultaneously 
be both localized and universal. In the Brahma- sarhhitd we also find it 
stated that although You always remain in Your abode, Goloka 
Vrndavana, You are present everywhere. As stated in the Bhagavad-glta, 
You appear in order to protect the devotees, which indicates good 
fortune for all the universe. All of the demigods are directing different 
affairs of the universe by Your grace only. Thus the seven upper 
planetary systems are maintained by Your grace. At the end of this 
creation, all manifestations of Your energies, whether in the shape of 
demigods, human beings or lower animals, enter into You, and all 
immediate and remote causes of cosmic manifestation rest in You 
without distinctive features of existence. Ultimately, there is no 
possibility of distinction between You and any other thing on an equal 
level with You or subordinate to You. You are simultaneously the cause 
of this cosmic manifestation and its ingredients as well. You are the 
Supreme Whole, one without a second. In the phenomenal 
manifestation there are three stages: the stage of consciousness, the stage 
of semiconsciousness in dreaming, and the stage of unconsciousness. But 
Your Lordship is transcendental to all these different material stages of 
existence. You exist, therefore, in a fourth dimension, and Your 
appearance and disappearance do not depend on anything beyond 
Yourself. You are the supreme cause of everything, but for You there is 
no cause. You Yourself cause Your own appearance and disappearance. 
Despite Your transcendental position, my Lord, in order to show Your 
six opulences and advertise Your transcendental qualities, You have 
appeared in Your different incarnations — fish, tortoise, boar, Nrsimha, 



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Kesava, and others — by Your personal manifestation; and You have 
appeared as different living entities by Your separated manifestations. 
By Your internal potency You appear as the different incarnations of 
Visnu, and by Your external potency You appear as the phenomenal 
world. 

"Because it is a cloudy day, to the common man's eyes the sun appears to 
be covered. But the fact is that because the sunshine creates the cloud, 
the sun can never actually be covered, even though the whole sky may 
be cloudy. Similarly, less intelligent men claim that there is no God, but 
when the manifestation of different living entities and their activities is 
visible, enlightened persons see You present in every atom and through 
the via media of Your external and marginal energies. Your unlimitedly 
potent activities are experienced by the most enlightened devotees, but 
those who are bewildered by the spell of Your external energy identify 
themselves with this material world and become attached to society, 
friendship and love. Thus they embrace the threefold miseries of 
material existence and are subjected to the dualities of pain and 
pleasure, sometimes drowning in the ocean of attachment and 
sometimes being taken out of it. 

"My dear Lord, only by Your mercy and grace can the living entity get 
the human form of life, which is a chance to get out of the miserable 
condition of material existence. However, a person who possesses a 
human body but who cannot bring his senses under control is carried 
away by the waves of sensual enjoyment. As such, he cannot take shelter 
of Your lotus feet and thus engage in Your devotional service. The life of 
such a person is very unfortunate, and anyone living such a life of 
darkness is certainly cheating himself and thus cheating others also. 
Therefore, human society without Krsna consciousness is a society of 
cheaters and the cheated. 

"My Lord, You are actually the dearmost Supersoul of all living entities 
and the supreme controller of everything. The human being who is 
always illusioned is afraid of ultimate death. A man who is simply 
attached to sensual enjoyment voluntarily accepts the miserable material 
existence and thus wanders after the will-o'-the-wisp of sense pleasure. 
He is certainly the most foolish man, for he drinks poison and puts aside 
the nectar. My dear Lord, all the demigods, including myself and Lord 



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237 



Brahma, as well as great saintly persons and sages who have cleansed 
their hearts of material attachment, have, by Your grace, wholeheartedly 
taken shelter of Your lotus feet. We have all taken shelter of You 
because we have accepted You as the Supreme Lord and the dearmost 
life and soul of all of us. You are the original cause of this cosmic 
manifestation, You are its supreme maintainer, and You are the cause of 
its dissolution also. You are equal to everyone, the most peaceful 
supreme friend of every living entity. You are the supreme worshipable 
object for every one of us. My dear Lord, let us always be engaged in 
Your transcendental loving service, so that we may get free from this 
material entanglement. 

"Last, my Lord, I may inform You that this Banasura is very dear to me. 
He has rendered valuable service unto me; therefore I want to see him 
always happy. Being pleased with him, I have assured him safety. I pray 
to You, my Lord, that as You were pleased with his forefathers King 
Prahlada and Bali Maharaja, You will also be pleased with him." 
After hearing Lord Siva's prayer, Lord Krsna addressed him also as lord 
and said, "My dear Lord Siva, I accept your statements, and I also accept 
your desire for Banasura. I know that this Banasura is the son of Bali 
Maharaja, and as such I cannot kill him, for that is My promise. I gave a 
benediction to King Prahlada that the demons who would appear in his 
family would never be killed by Me. Therefore, without killing this 
Banasura, I have simply cut off his arms to deprive him of his false 
prestige. The large number of soldiers he was maintaining became a 
burden on this earth, and I have killed them all to minimize the burden. 
Now he has four remaining arms, and he will remain immortal, 
unaffected by material pains and pleasures. I know that he is one of the 
chief devotees of Your Lordship, so you can now rest assured that 
henceforward he need have no fear from anything." 
When Banasura was blessed by Lord Krsna in this way, he came before 
the Lord and bowed down before Him, touching his head to the earth. 
Banasura immediately arranged to have his daughter Usa seated with 
Aniruddha on a nice chariot, and then he presented them before Lord 
Krsna. After this, Lord Krsna took charge of Aniruddha and Usa, who 
had become very opulent materially because of the blessings of Lord 
Siva. Thus, keeping forward a division of one aksauhinl of soldiers, 



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Krsna proceeded toward Dvaraka. In the meantime, all the people of 
Dvaraka, having received the news that Lord Krsna was returning with 
Aniruddha and Usa in great opulence, decorated every corner of the 
city with flags, festoons and garlands. All the big roads and crossings 
were carefully cleansed and sprinkled with sandalwood pulp mixed with 
water. Everywhere was the fragrance of sandalwood. All the citizens 
joined their friends and relatives to welcome Lord Krsna with great 
pomp and jubilation, and a tumultuous vibration of conchshells, drums 
and bugles received the Lord. In this way the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, Krsna, entered His capital, Dvaraka. 

Sukadeva GosvamI assured King Parlksit that the narration of the fight 
between Lord Siva and Lord Krsna is not at all inauspicious, like 
ordinary fights. On the contrary, if one remembers in the morning the 
narration of this fight between Lord Krsna and Lord Siva and takes 
pleasure in the victory of Lord Krsna, he will never experience defeat 
anywhere in his struggle of life. 

This episode of Banasura's fighting with Krsna and later being saved by 
the grace of Lord Siva is confirmation of the statement in the Bhagavad- 
gita that the worshipers of demigods cannot achieve any benediction 
without its being sanctioned by the Supreme Lord, Krsna. Here, in this 
narration, we find that although Banasura was a great devotee of Lord 
Siva, when he faced death by Krsna, Lord Siva was not able to save him. 
But Lord Siva appealed to Krsna to save his devotee, and this was 
sanctioned by the Lord. This is the position of Lord Krsna. The exact 
words used in this connection in the Bhagavad-gita are mayaiva vihitan 
hi tan. This means that without the sanction of the Supreme Lord, no 
demigod can award any benediction to his worshiper. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixty-third Chapter of Krsna, 
"Lord Krsna Fights with Banasura." 



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CHAPTER SIXTY-FOUR 
The Story of King Nrga 

Once the family members of Lord Krsna, such as Samba, Pradyumna, 
Cam, Bhanu and Gada, all princes of the Yadu dynasty, went for a long 
picnic in the forest near Dvaraka. In the course of their excursion, all of 
them became thirsty, and so they tried to find out where water was 
available in the forest. When they approached a well, they found no 
water in it, but, on the contrary, within the well was a wonderful living 
entity. It was a large lizard, and all of them were astonished to see such a 
wonderful animal. They could understand that the animal was trapped 
and could not escape by its own effort, so out of compassion they tried to 
take the large lizard out of the well. Unfortunately, they could not get 
the lizard out, even though they tried to do so in many ways. 
When the princes returned home, their story was narrated before Lord 
Krsna. Lord Krsna is the friend of all living entities. Therefore, after 
hearing the appeal from His sons, He personally went to the well and 
easily got the great lizard out simply by extending His left hand. 
Immediately upon being touched by the hand of Lord Krsna, that great 
lizard gave up its former shape and appeared as a beautiful demigod, an 
inhabitant of the heavenly planets. His complexion glittered like molten 
gold, he was decorated with fine garments, and he wore costly ornaments 
around his neck. 

How the demigod had been obliged to accept the body of a lizard was not 
a secret to Lord Krsna, but still, for others' information, the Lord 
inquired, "My dear fortunate demigod, now I see that your body is so 
beautiful and lustrous. Who are you? We can guess that you are one of 
the best demigods in the heavenly planets. All good fortune to you. I 
think that you are not meant to be in this situation. It must be due to 
the results of your past activities that you have been put into the species 
of lizard life. Still, I want to hear from you how you were put in this 
position. If you think that you can disclose this secret, then please tell us 
your identity." 

Actually this large lizard was King Nrga, and when questioned by the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead he immediately bowed down before the 



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Lord, touching to the ground the helmet on his head, which was as 
dazzling as the sunshine. In this way, he first offered his respectful 
obeisances unto the Supreme Lord. He then said, "My dear Lord, I am 
King Nrga, the son of King Iksvaku. If you have ever taken account of 
all charitably disposed men, I am sure You must have heard my name. 
My Lord, You are the witness. You are aware of every bit of work done 
by the living entities — past, present and future. Nothing can be hidden 
from Your eternal cognizance. Still, You have ordered me to explain my 
history, and I shall therefore narrate the full story." 

King Nrga proceeded to narrate the history of his degradation, caused by 
his karma-kdnda activities. He said that he had been very charitably 
disposed and had given away so many cows that the number was equal to 
the number of particles of dust on the earth, stars in the sky or drops of 
water in a rainfall. According to the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies, a man 
who is charitably disposed is recommended to give cows to the 
brdhmanas. From King Nrga's statement, it appears that he followed this 
principle earnestly; however, as a result of a slight discrepancy he was 
forced to take birth as a lizard. Therefore it is recommended by the Lord 
in the Bhagavad-gltd that one who is charitably disposed and desires to 
derive the benefit of his charity should offer his gifts to please Krsna. To 
give charity means to perform pious activities by which one may be 
elevated to the higher planetary systems; but promotion to the heavenly 
planets is no guarantee that one will never fall down. Rather, the 
example of King Nrga definitely proves that fruitive activities, even if 
very pious, cannot give us eternal blissful life. As stated in the Bhagavad- 
gltd, the result of work, either pious or impious, is sure to bind a man 
unless the work is discharged as yajfia on behalf of the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead. 

King Nrga said that the cows he had given in charity were not ordinary 
cows. Each one was very young and had given birth to only one calf. 
They were full of milk, very peaceful and healthy. All the cows were 
purchased with money earned legally. Furthermore, their horns were 
gold-plated, their hooves were bedecked with silver plating, and they 
were covered with necklaces and with silken wrappers embroidered with 
pearls. He stated that these valuably decorated cows had not been given 
to any worthless persons but had been distributed to first-class 



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brdhmanas, whom he had also decorated with nice garments and gold 
ornaments. The brdhmanas were well qualified, and since none of them 
were rich, their family members were always in want for the necessities 
of life. A real brahmana never hoards money for a luxurious life, like the 
ksatriyas or the vaisyas, but always keeps himself poverty-stricken, 
knowing that money diverts the mind to materialistic ways of life. To 
live in this way is the vow of a qualified brahmana, and all of these 
brdhmanas were well situated in that exalted vow. They were well 
learned in Vedic knowledge. They executed the required austerities and 
penances in their lives and were liberal, meeting the standard of 
qualified brdhmanas. They were equally friendly to everyone; above all, 
they were young and quite fit to act as qualified brdhmanas. Besides the 
cows, they were also given land, gold, houses, horses and elephants. 
Those who were not married were given wives, maidservants, grains, 
silver, utensils, garments, jewels, household furniture, chariots, etc. This 
charity was nicely performed as a sacrifice according to the Vedic rituals. 
The King also stated that not only had he bestowed gifts on the 
brdhmanas, but he had performed other pious activities, such as digging 
wells, planting trees on the roadside and installing ponds on the 
highways. 

The King continued, "In spite of all this, unfortunately one of the 
brdhmanas' cows chanced to enter amongst my other cows. Not knowing 
this, I again gave it in charity, to another brahmana. As the cow was 
being taken away by this brahmana, its former master claimed it as his 
own, stating, "This cow was formerly given to me, so how is it that you 
are taking it away?' Thus there was arguing and fighting between the 
two brdhmanas, and they came before me and charged that I had taken 
back a cow I had previously given in charity." To give something to 
someone and then to take it back is considered a great sin, especially in 
dealing with a brahmana. When both the brdhmanas charged the King 
with the same complaint, he was simply puzzled as to how it had 
happened. Thereafter, with great humility, the King offered each of 
them 100,000 cows in exchange for the one cow that was causing the 
fight between them. He prayed to them that he was their servant and 
that there had been some mistake. Thus, in order to rectify it, he prayed 
that they be very kind upon him and accept his offer in exchange for the 



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242 



cow. The King fervently appealed to the brdhmanas not to cause his 
downfall into hell because of this mistake. A brdhmana's property is 
called brahma-sva, and according to Manu's law it cannot be acquired 
even by the government. Both brdhmanas, however, insisted that the 
cow was theirs and could not be taken back under any condition; 
neither of them agreed to exchange it for the 100,000 cows. Thus 
disagreeing with the King's proposal, the two brdhmanas left the place in 
anger, thinking that their lawful possession had been usurped. 
After this incident, when the time came for the King to give up his 
body, he was taken before Yamaraja, the superintendent of death, who 
asked him whether he first wanted to enjoy the results of his pious 
activities or suffer the results of his impious activities. Seeing that the 
King had executed so many pious activities and charities, Yamaraja also 
hinted that he did not know the limit of the King's future enjoyment. In 
other words, there would be practically no end to the King's material 
happiness. But in spite of this hint, the King, bewildered, decided first to 
suffer the results of his impious activities and then to accept the results 
of his pious activities; therefore Yamaraja immediately turned him into a 
lizard. 

King Nrga had remained in the well as a big lizard for a very long time. 
He told Lord Krsna, "In spite of being put into that degraded condition 
of life, I simply thought of You, my dear Lord, and my memory was never 
vanquished." It appears from these statements of King Nrga that persons 
who follow the principles of fruitive activities and derive some material 
benefits are not very intelligent. Being given the choice by the 
superintendent of death, Yamaraja, King Nrga could have first accepted 
the results of his pious activities. Instead, he thought it better first to 
receive the effects of his impious activities and then enjoy the effects of 
his pious activities without disturbance. On the whole, he had not 
developed Krsna consciousness. The Krsna conscious person develops 
love of God, Krsna, not love for pious or impious activities; therefore he 
is not subjected to the results of such action. As stated in the Brahma- 
samhitd, a devotee, by the grace of the Lord, does not become subjected 
to the reactions of fruitive activities. 

Somehow or other, as a result of his pious activities, King Nrga had 
aspired to see the Lord. He continued, "My dear Lord, I had a great 



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desire that someday I might be able to see You personally. I think that 
my tendency to perform ritualistic and charitable activities, combined 
with this great desire to see You, has enabled me to retain the memory of 
who I was in my former life, even though I became a lizard. [Such a 
person, who remembers his past life, is called jdti-smara. In modern times 
also there are instances of small children recalling many details of their 
past lives.] My dear Lord, You are the Supersoul seated in everyone's 
heart. There are many great mystic yogis who have the eyes to see You 
through the Vedas and Upanisads. To achieve the elevated position of 
realizing that they are equal in quality with You, they always meditate 
on You within their hearts. But although such exalted saintly persons 
may see You constantly within their hearts, they still cannot see You 
face to face. Therefore I am very much surprised that I am able to see 
You personally. I know that I was engaged in so many activities, 
especially as a king. Although I was in the midst of luxury and opulence 
and was subject to so much of the happiness and misery of material 
existence, I am so fortunate to be seeing You personally. As far as I 
know, when one becomes liberated from material existence, he can see 
You in this way." 

When King Nrga elected to receive the results of his impious activities, 
he was given the body of a lizard because of the mistake in his pious 
activities; thus he could not be directly converted to a higher status of 
life like a great demigod. However, along with his pious activities, he 
thought of Krsna, so he was quickly released from the body of a lizard 
and given the body of a demigod. By worshiping the Supreme Lord, 
those who desire material opulences are given the bodies of powerful 
demigods. Sometimes these demigods can see the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead face to face, but they are still not yet eligible to enter into the 
spiritual kingdom, the Vaikuntha planets. However, if the demigods 
continue to be devotees of the Lord, the next chance they get they will 
enter into the Vaikuntha planets. 

Having attained the body of a demigod, King Nrga, continuing to 
remember everything, said, "My dear Lord, You are the Supreme Lord 
and are worshiped by all the demigods. You are not one of the ordinary 
living entities; You are the Supreme Person, Purusottama. You are the 
source of all happiness for all living entities; therefore You are known as 



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Govinda. You are the Lord of those living entities who have accepted 
material bodies and those who have not yet accepted material bodies. 
[Among the living entities who have not accepted material bodies are 
those who hover in the material world as evil spirits or live in the 
ghostly atmosphere. However, those who live in the spiritual kingdom, 
the Vaikunthalokas, have bodies not made of material elements.] You, 
my Lord, are infallible. You are the Supreme, the purest of all living 
entities. You live in everyone's heart. You are the shelter of all living 
entities, Narayana. Being seated in the heart of all living beings, You are 
the supreme director of everyone's sensual activities; therefore, You are 
called Hrsikesa. 

"My dear Supreme Lord Krsna, because You have given me this body of 
a demigod, I will have to go to some heavenly planet; so I am taking this 
opportunity to beg for Your mercy, that I may have the benediction of 
never forgetting Your lotus feet, no matter to which form of life or 
planet I may be transferred. You are all-pervading, present everywhere 
as cause and effect. You are the cause of all causes, and Your power is 
unlimited. You are the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead and the Supreme Brahman. I therefore offer my respectful 
obeisances unto You again and again. My dear Lord, Your body is full of 
transcendental bliss and knowledge, and You are eternal. You are the 
master of all mystic powers; therefore You are known as Yogesvara. 
Kindly accept me as an insignificant particle of dust at Your lotus feet." 
Before entering the heavenly planets, King Nrga circumambulated the 
Lord, touched his helmet to the Lord's lotus feet and bowed before Him. 
Seeing the airplane from the heavenly planets present before him, he 
was given permission by the Lord to board it. After the departure of 
King Nrga, Lord Krsna expressed His appreciation for the King's 
devotion to the brdhmanas as well as his charitable disposition and his 
performance of Vedic rituals. Therefore, it is recommended that if one 
cannot directly become a devotee of the Lord, one should follow the 
Vedic principles of life. This will enable him, one day, to see the Lord by 
being promoted either directly to the spiritual kingdom or, indirectly, to 
the heavenly kingdom, where he has hope of being transferred to the 
spiritual planets. 
At this time, Lord Krsna was present among His relatives who were 



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members of the ksatriya class. To teach them through the exemplary 
character of King Nrga, He said, "Even though a ksatriya king may be as 
powerful as fire, it is not possible for him to usurp the property of a 
brahmana and utilize it for his own purpose. If this is so, how can 
ordinary kings, who falsely think themselves the most powerful beings 
within the material world, usurp a brahmana's property? I do not think 
that taking poison is as dangerous as taking a brahmana's property. For 
ordinary poison there is treatment — one can be relieved from its 
effects — but if one drinks the poison of taking a brahmana's property, 
there is no remedy for the mistake. The perfect example is King Nrga. 
He was very powerful and very pious, but due to the small mistake of 
unknowingly usurping a brahmana's cow, he was condemned to the 
abominable life of a lizard. Ordinary poison affects only those who drink 
it, and ordinary fire can be extinguished simply by pouring water on it; 
but the arani fire ignited by the spiritual potency of a brahmana who is 
dissatisfied can burn to ashes the whole family of a person who provokes 
such a brahmana. [Formerly, the brahmanas used to ignite the fire of 
sacrifice not with matches or any other external fire but with their 
powerful mantras, called arani.] If someone even touches a brahmana's 
property, his family is ruined for three generations. However, if a 
brahmana's property is forcibly taken away, the taker's family for ten 
generations before him and ten generations after will be subject to 
ruination. On the other hand, if someone becomes a pure Vaisnava, or 
devotee of the Lord, ten generations of his family before his birth and 
ten generations after will be liberated." 

Lord Krsna continued, "If some foolish king who is puffed up by his 
wealth, prestige and power wants to usurp a brahmana's property, he 
should be understood to be clearing his path to hell; he does not know 
how much he has to suffer for such an unwise act. If someone takes away 
the property of a very liberal brahmana who is encumbered by a large 
dependent family, then such a usurper is put into the hell known as 
Kumbhipaka; not only is he put into this hell, but his family members 
also have to accept such a miserable condition of life. A person who 
takes away a brahmana's property, whether it was originally given by him 
or by someone else, is condemned to live for at least sixty thousand years 
as a miserable insect in stool. Therefore I instruct you, all My boys and 



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relatives present here, do not, even by mistake, take the possession of a 
brdhmana and thereby pollute your whole family. If someone even 
wishes to possess such property, let alone attempts to take it away by 
force, the duration of his life will be reduced. He will be defeated by his 
enemies, and after being bereft of his royal position, when he gives up 
his body he will become a serpent, giving trouble to all other living 
entities. My dear boys and relatives, I therefore advise you that even if a 
brdhmana becomes angry with you and calls you by ill names or curses 
you, still you should not retaliate. On the contrary, you should smile, 
tolerate him and offer your respects to the brdhmana. You know very 
well that even I Myself offer My obeisances to the brdhmanas with great 
respect three times daily. You should therefore follow My instruction 
and example. I shall not forgive anyone who does not follow them, and I 
shall punish him. You should learn from the example of King Nrga that 
even if someone unknowingly usurps the property of a brdhmana, he is 
put into a miserable condition of life." 

Thus Lord Krsna, who is always engaged in purifying the conditioned 
living entities, gave instruction not only to His family members and the 
inhabitants of Dvaraka but to all the members of human society. After 
this, the Lord entered His palace. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixty-fourth Chapter of Krsna, 
"The Story of King Nrga." 



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CHAPTER SIXTY-FIVE 
Lord Balarama Visits Vrndavana 

Lord Balarama became very anxious to see His father and mother in 
Vrndavana. Therefore, with great enthusiasm He started on a chariot 
for Vrndavana. The inhabitants of Vrndavana had been anxious to see 
Krsna and Balarama for a very long time. When Lord Balarama returned 
to Vrndavana, all the cowherd boys and the gopls had grown up; but still, 
on His arrival, they all embraced Him, and Balarama embraced them in 
reciprocation. After this He came before Maharaja Nanda and Yasoda 
and offered His respectful obeisances. In response, mother Yasoda and 
Nanda Maharaja offered their blessings unto Him. They addressed Him 
as Jagadisvara, or the Lord of the universe who maintains everyone. The 
reason for this was that Krsna and Balarama maintain all living entities, 
and yet Nanda and Yasoda were put into such difficulties on account of 
Their absence. Feeling like this, they embraced Balarama and, seating 
Him on their laps, began their perpetual crying, wetting Balarama with 
their tears. Lord Balarama then offered His respectful obeisances to the 
elderly cowherd men and accepted the obeisances of the younger 
cowherd men. Thus, according to their different ages and relationships, 
Lord Balarama exchanged feelings of friendship with them. He shook 
hands with those who were His equals in age and friendship and with 
loud laughing embraced each one of them. 

After being received by the cowherd men and boys, the gopls, and King 
Nanda and Yasoda, Lord Balarama sat down, feeling satisfied, and they 
all surrounded Him. First Lord Balarama inquired from them about their 
welfare, and then, since they had not seen Him for such a long time, 
they began to ask Him different questions. The inhabitants of 
Vrndavana had sacrificed everything for Krsna, simply being captivated 
by the lotus eyes of the Lord. Because of their great desire to love Krsna, 
they never desired anything like elevation to the heavenly planets or 
merging into the effulgence of Brahman to become one with the 
Absolute Truth. They were not even interested in enjoying a life of 
opulence, but were satisfied in living a simple life in the village as 
cowherds. They were always absorbed in thoughts of Krsna and did not 



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desire any personal benefits, and they were all so much in love with Him 
that in His absence their voices faltered when they began to inquire 
from Balaramajl. 

First Nanda Maharaja and Yasodamayi inquired, "My dear Balarama, are 
our friends like Vasudeva and others in the family doing well? Now You 
and Krsna are grown-up married men with children. In the happiness of 
family life, do You sometimes remember Your poor father and mother, 
Nanda Maharaja and Yasodadevi? It is very good news that the most 
sinful King Karhsa has been killed by You and that our friends like 
Vasudeva and the others who had been harassed have now been 
relieved. It is also very good news that You and Krsna defeated 
Jarasandha and Kalayavana, who is now dead, and that You are now 
living in a fortified residence in Dvaraka." 

When the gopls arrived, Lord Balarama glanced over them with loving 
eyes. Being overjoyed, the gopls, who had so long been mortified on 
account of Krsna's and Balarama's absence, began to ask about the 
welfare of the two brothers. They specifically asked Balarama whether 
Krsna was enjoying His life surrounded by the enlightened women of 
Dvaraka Purl. "Does He sometimes remember His father Nanda and His 
mother Yasoda and the other friends with whom He so intimately 
behaved while in Vrndavana? Does Krsna have any plans to come here 
to see His mother, Yasoda, and does He remember us gopls, who are now 
pitiably bereft of His company? Krsna may have forgotten us in the 
midst of the cultured women of Dvaraka, but as far as we are concerned, 
we still remember Him by collecting flowers and sewing them into 
garlands. When He does not come, however, we simply pass our time by 
crying. If only He would come here and accept these garlands we have 
made. Dear Lord Balarama, descendant of Dasarha, You know that we 
would give up everything for Krsna's friendship. Even in great distress 
one cannot give up the connection of family members, but although it 
might be impossible for others, we gave up our fathers, mothers, sisters 
and relatives. But then Krsna, without caring a pinch for our 
renunciation, all of a sudden renounced us and went away. He broke off 
our intimate relationship without serious consideration and left for a 
foreign country. But He was so clever and cunning that He 
manufactured very nice words. He said, "My dear gopls, please do not 



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worry. The service you have rendered Me is impossible for Me to repay.' 
After all, we are women, so how could we disbelieve Him? Now we can 
understand that His sweet words were simply for cheating us." 
Protesting Krsna's absence from Vrndavana, another gopl said, "My dear 
Balaramajl, we are of course village girls, so Krsna could cheat us in that 
way, but what about the women of Dvaraka? Don't think they are as 
foolish as we are! We village women might be misled by Krsna, but the 
women in the city of Dvaraka are very clever and intelligent. Therefore 
I would be surprised if such city women could be misled by Krsna and 
could believe His words." 

Then another gopl began to speak. "My dear friend," she said, "Krsna is 
very clever in using words. No one can compete with Him in that art. 
He can manufacture such colorful words and talk so sweetly that the 
heart of any woman would be misled. Besides that, He has perfected the 
art of smiling very attractively, and by seeing His smile women become 
mad after Him and give themselves to Him without hesitation." 
Another gopl, after hearing this, said, "My dear friends, what is the use 
in talking about Krsna? If you are at all interested in passing time by 
talking, let us talk on some subject other than Him. If cruel Krsna can 
pass His time without us, why can't we pass our time without Krsna? Of 
course, Krsna is passing His days without us very happily, but we cannot 
pass our days happily without Him." 

When the gopls were talking in this way, their feelings for Krsna became 
more and more intense, and they were experiencing Krsna's smiling, 
Krsna's words of love, Krsna's attractive features, Krsna's characteristics 
and Krsna's embraces. By the force of their ecstatic feelings, it appeared 
to them that Krsna was personally present and dancing before them. 
Because of their sweet remembrance of Krsna, they could not check 
their tears, and they cried without consideration. 
Lord Balarama, of course, could understand the ecstatic feelings of the 
gopls, and therefore He wanted to pacify them. He was expert in 
presenting an appeal, and thus, treating the gopls very respectfully, He 
began to narrate the stories of Krsna so tactfully that the gopls became 
satisfied. To keep the gopls in Vrndavana satisfied, Lord Balarama stayed 
there continuously for two months, namely the months of Caitra 
(March- April) and Vaisakha (April-May). For those two months He 



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kept Himself among the gopls, and He passed every night with them in 
the forest of Vrndavana to satisfy their desire for conjugal love. Thus 
Balarama also enjoyed the rasa dance with the gopls during those two 
months. Since the season was springtime, the breeze on the bank of the 
Yamuna was blowing very mildly, carrying the aroma of different 
flowers, especially the flower known as kaumudl. Moonlight filled the 
sky and spread everywhere, and thus the banks of the Yamuna appeared 
very bright and pleasing, and Lord Balarama enjoyed the company of the 
gopls there. 

The demigod known as Varuna sent his daughter Varum in the form of 
liquid honey oozing from the hollows of the trees. Because of this honey 
the whole forest became aromatic, and the sweet aroma of the liquid 
honey, Varum, captivated Balaramaji. Balaramaji and all the gopls 
became very much attracted by the taste of Varum, and all of them 
drank it together. While drinking this natural beverage, all the gopls 
chanted the glories of Lord Balarama, and Lord Balarama felt very 
happy, as if He had become intoxicated by drinking that Varum 
beverage. His eyes rolled in a pleasing attitude. He was decorated with 
long garlands of forest flowers, and the whole situation appeared to be a 
great function of happiness because of this transcendental bliss. Lord 
Balarama smiled beautifully, and the drops of perspiration decorating 
His face appeared like soothing morning dew. 
While Balarama was in that happy mood, He desired to enjoy the 
company of the gopls in the water of the Yamuna. Therefore He called 
the Yamuna to come nearby. But the Yamuna neglected the order of 
Balaramaji, considering Him intoxicated. Lord Balarama became very 
much displeased at the Yamuna's neglecting His order. He immediately 
wanted to scratch the land near the river with His plowshare. Lord 
Balarama has two weapons, a plow and a club, from which He takes 
service when they are required. This time He wanted to bring the 
Yamuna by force, and He took the help of His plow. He wanted to 
punish the Yamuna because she did not come in obedience to His order. 
He addressed the Yamuna, "You wretched river! You did not care for My 
order. Now I shall teach you a lesson! You did not come to Me 
voluntarily. Now with the help of My plow I shall force you to come. I 
shall divide you into hundreds of scattered streams!" 



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251 



When the Yamuna was threatened like this, she became greatly afraid of 
the power of Balarama and immediately came in person, falling at His 
lotus feet and praying thus: "My dear Balarama, You are the most 
powerful personality, and You are pleasing to everyone. Unfortunately, I 
forgot Your glorious, exalted position, but now I have come to my senses, 
and I remember that You hold all the planetary systems on Your head 

s 

merely by Your partial expansion Sesa. You are the sustainer of the 
whole universe. My dear Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are full 
with six opulences. Because I forgot Your omnipotence, I have 
mistakenly disobeyed Your order, and thus I have become a great 
offender. But, my dear Lord, please know that I am a soul surrendered 
unto You, who are very much affectionate to Your devotees. Therefore 
please excuse my impudence and mistakes, and, by Your causeless mercy, 
may You now release me." 

Upon displaying this submissive attitude, the Yamuna was forgiven, and 
when she came nearby, Lord Balarama enjoyed the pleasure of 
swimming in her water along with the gopls in the same way that an 
elephant enjoys himself along with his many she-elephants. After a long 
time, when Lord Balarama had enjoyed to His full satisfaction, He came 
out of the water, and immediately a goddess of fortune offered Him a 
nice blue garment and a valuable necklace made of gold. After bathing 
in the Yamuna, Lord Balarama, dressed in blue garments and decorated 
with golden ornaments, looked very attractive to everyone. Lord 
Balarama's complexion is white, and when He was properly dressed He 
looked exactly like the white elephant of King Indra in the heavenly 
planets. The river Yamuna still has many small branches due to being 
scratched by the plowshare of Lord Balarama. And all these branches of 
the river Yamuna still glorify the omnipotence of Lord Balarama. 
Lord Balarama and the gopls enjoyed transcendental pastimes together 
every night for two months, and time passed so quickly that all those 
nights appeared to be only one night. In the presence of Lord Balarama, 
all the gopls and other inhabitants of Vrndavana became as cheerful as 
they had been before in the presence of both brothers, Lord Krsna and 
Lord Balarama. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixty-fifth Chapter of Krsna, 

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"Lord Balarama Visits Vrndavana." 

CHAPTER SIXTY-SIX 
The Deliverance of Paundraka and the King of 

Kasi 

The story of King Paundraka is very interesting because it proves that 
there have always been many rascals and fools who have considered 
themselves God. Even in the presence of the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, Krsna, there was such a foolish person. His name was 
Paundraka, and he wanted to declare himself God. While Lord Balarama 
was absent in Vrndavana, this King Paundraka, the King of the Karusa 
province, being foolish and puffed up, sent a messenger to Lord Krsna. 
Lord Krsna is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but King 
Paundraka directly challenged Krsna through the messenger, who stated 
that Paundraka, not Krsna, was Vasudeva. In the present day there are 
many foolish followers of such rascals. Similarly, in Paundraka's day, 
many foolish men accepted Paundraka as the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead. Because he could not estimate his own position, Paundraka 
falsely thought himself to be Lord Vasudeva. Thus the messenger 
declared to Krsna that King Paundraka, the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, had descended on the earth out of his causeless mercy just to 
deliver all distressed persons. 

Surrounded by many other foolish persons, this rascal Paundraka had 
actually concluded that he was Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead. This kind of conclusion is certainly childish. When children 
are playing, they sometimes create a king amongst themselves, and the 
child selected thinks that he is the king. Similarly, many foolish persons, 
due to ignorance, select another fool as God, and then the rascal 
considers himself God, as if God could be created by childish play or by 
the votes of men. Under this false impression, thinking himself the 
Supreme Lord, Paundraka sent his messenger to Dvaraka to challenge 
the position of Krsna. The messenger reached the royal assembly of 
Krsna in Dvaraka and conveyed the message given by his master, 



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253 



Paundraka. The message contained the following statements. 
"I am the only Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. No man can 
compete with me. I have descended as King Paundraka, taking 
compassion on the distressed conditioned souls out of my unlimited 
causeless mercy. You have falsely taken the position of Vasudeva 
without authority, but You should not propagate this false idea. You 
must give up Your position. O descendant of the Yadu dynasty, please 
give up all the symbols of Vasudeva, which You have falsely assumed. 
And after giving up this position, come and surrender unto me. If out of 
Your gross impudence You do not care for my words, then I challenge 
You to fight. I am inviting You to a battle in which the decision will be 
settled." 

When all the members of the royal assembly, including King Ugrasena, 
heard this message sent by Paundraka, they laughed very loudly for a 
considerable time. After enjoying the loud laughter of all the members 
of the assembly, Krsna replied to the messenger as follows: "O messenger 
of Paundraka, you may carry My message to your master: "You are a 
foolish rascal. I directly call you a rascal, and I refuse to follow your 
instructions. I shall never give up the symbols of Vasudeva, especially 
My disc. I shall use this disc to kill not only you but all your followers 
also. I shall destroy you and your foolish associates, who merely 
constitute a society of cheaters and the cheated. O foolish King, you will 
then have to conceal your face in disgrace, and when your head is 
severed from your body by My disc, it will be surrounded by meat-eating 
birds like vultures, hawks and eagles. At that time, instead of becoming 
My shelter, as you have demanded, you will be subject to the mercy of 
these lowborn birds. At that time your body will be thrown to the dogs, 
who will eat it with great pleasure.' " 

The messenger carried the words of Lord Krsna to his master, 
Paundraka, who patiently heard all these insults. Without waiting any 
longer, Lord Sri Krsna immediately started out on His chariot to punish 
the rascal Paundraka, the King of Karusa. Because at that time he was 
living with his friend the King of Kasi, Krsna surrounded the whole city 
of Kasi. 

King Paundraka was a great warrior, and as soon as he heard of Krsna's 
attack, he came out of the city with two aksauhinl divisions of soldiers. 



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254 



The King of Kasi also came out, with three aksauhinl divisions. When 
the two kings came before Lord Krsna to oppose Him, Krsna saw 
Paundraka face to face for the first time. Krsna saw that Paundraka had 
decorated himself with the symbols of the conchshell, disc, lotus and 
club. He carried an imitation Sarriga bow, and on his chest was a mock 
insignia of Srivatsa. His neck was decorated with a false Kaustubha 
jewel, and he wore a flower garland in exact imitation of Lord 
Vasudeva's. He was dressed in yellow silken garments, and the flag on his 
chariot carried the symbol of Garuda, exactly imitating Krsna's. He had 
a very valuable helmet on his head, and his earrings, like swordfish, 
glittered brilliantly. On the whole, however, his dress and makeup were 
clearly imitation. Anyone could understand that he was just like 
someone onstage playing the part of Vasudeva in false dress. When Lord 
Sri Krsna saw Paundraka imitating His posture and dress, He could not 
check His laughter, and thus He laughed with great satisfaction. 
The soldiers on the side of King Paundraka began to shower their 
weapons upon Krsna. The weapons, including various kinds of tridents, 
clubs, poles, lances, swords, daggers and arrows, came flying in waves, 
and Krsna counteracted them. He smashed not only the weapons but 
also the soldiers and assistants of Paundraka, just as during the 
dissolution of this universe the fire of devastation burns everything to 
ashes. The elephants, chariots, horses and infantry belonging to the 
opposite party were scattered by the weapons of Krsna. Indeed, the 
whole battlefield became scattered with smashed chariots and the bodies 
of men and animals. There were fallen horses, elephants, men, asses and 
camels. Although the devastated battlefield appeared like the dancing 
place of Lord Siva at the time of the dissolution of the world, the 
warriors on the side of Krsna were very much encouraged by seeing this, 
and they fought with greater strength. 

At this time, Lord Krsna told Paundraka, "Paundraka, you requested Me 
to give up the symbols of Lord Visnu, specifically My disc. Now I will 
give it up to you. Be careful! You falsely declare yourself Vasudeva, 
imitating Me. Therefore no one is a greater fool than you." From this 
statement of Krsna's it is clear that any rascal who advertises himself as 
God is the greatest fool in human society. Krsna continued, "Now, 
Paundraka, I shall force you to give up this false representation. You 



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255 



wanted Me to surrender unto you. Now this is your opportunity. We 
shall now fight, and if I am defeated and you are victorious, I shall 
certainly surrender unto you." In this way, after chastising Paundraka 
very severely, He smashed Paundraka's chariot to pieces by shooting an 
arrow. With the help of His disc He separated Paundraka's head from his 
body, just as Indra shaves off the peaks of mountains by striking them 
with his thunderbolt. Similarly, He also killed the King of Kasi with His 
arrows. Lord Krsna specifically arranged to throw the head of the King 
of Kasi into the city of Kasi itself so that his relatives and family 
members could see it. Krsna did this just as a hurricane carries a lotus 
petal here and there. Lord Krsna killed Paundraka and his friend 
Kasiraja on the battlefield, and then He returned to His capital city, 
Dvaraka. 

When Lord Krsna returned to the city of Dvaraka, all the Siddhas from 
the heavenly planets were singing the glories of the Lord. As far as 
Paundraka was concerned, somehow or other he always thought of Lord 
Vasudeva by falsely dressing himself in that way, and therefore 
Paundraka achieved sdrupya, one of the five kinds of liberation, and was 
thus promoted to the Vaikuntha planets, where the devotees have the 
same bodily features as Visnu, with four hands holding the four symbols. 
Factually, his meditation was concentrated on the Visnu form, but 
because he thought himself Lord Visnu, it was offensive. By his being 
killed by Krsna, however, that offense was mitigated. Thus he was given 
sdrupya liberation, and he attained the same form as the Lord. 
When the head of the King of Kasi was thrown through the city gate, 
people gathered and were astonished to see that wonderful thing. When 
they found out that there were earrings on it, they could understand 
that it was someone's head. They conjectured as to whose head it might 
be. Some thought it was Krsna's head because Krsna was the enemy of 
Kasiraja, and they calculated that the King of Kasi might have thrown 
Krsna's head into the city so that the people might take pleasure in the 
enemy's having been killed. But they finally detected that the head was 
not Krsna's but that of Kasiraja himself. When this was ascertained, the 
queens of the King of Kasi immediately approached and began to lament 
the death of their husband. "Our dear lord," they cried, "upon your 
death, we have become just like dead bodies." 



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The King of Kasi had a son whose name was Sudaksina. After observing 
the ritualistic funeral ceremonies, he took a vow that since Krsna was 
the enemy of his father, he would kill Krsna and in this way liquidate his 
debt to his father. Therefore, accompanied by a learned priest qualified 
to help him, he began to worship Mahadeva, Lord Siva. The lord of the 
kingdom of Kasi is Visvanatha (Lord Siva). The temple of Lord 
Visvanatha is still existing in Varanasi, and many thousands of pilgrims 
still gather daily in that temple. By the worship of Sudaksina, Lord Siva 
was very much pleased, and he wanted to give a benediction to his 
devotee. Sudaksina's purpose was to kill Krsna, and therefore he prayed 
for a specific power by which to kill Him. Lord Siva advised that 
Sudaksina, assisted by the brahmanas, execute the ritualistic ceremony 
for killing one's enemy. This ceremony is also mentioned in some of the 
tantras. Lord Siva informed Sudaksina that if such a black ritualistic 
ceremony were performed properly, then the evil spirit named 
Daksinagni would appear to carry out any order given to him. He would 
have to be employed, however, to kill someone other than a qualified 
brahmana. In such a case he would be accompanied by Lord Siva's 
ghostly companions, and the desire of Sudaksina to kill his enemy would 
be fulfilled. 

When Sudaksina was encouraged by Lord Siva in that way, he was sure 
that he would be able to kill Krsna. With a determined vow of austerity, 
he began to execute the black art of chanting mantras, assisted by the 
priests. After this, out of the fire came a great demoniac form, whose 
hair, beard and mustache were exactly the color of hot copper. This form 
was very big and fierce. As the demon arose from the fire, cinders of fire 
emanated from the sockets of his eyes. The giant fiery demon appeared 
still more fierce due to the movements of his eyebrows. He exhibited 
long, sharp teeth and, sticking out his long tongue, licked his upper and 
lower lips. He was naked, and he carried a big trident, blazing like fire. 
After appearing from the fire of sacrifice, he stood wielding the trident 
in his hand. Instigated by Sudaksina, the demon proceeded toward the 
capital city, Dvaraka, with many hundreds of ghostly companions, and it 
appeared that he was going to burn all outer space to ashes. The surface 
of the earth trembled because of his striking steps. When he entered the 
city of Dvaraka, all the residents panicked, just like animals in a forest 



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257 



fire. 

At that time, Krsna was playing chess in the royal assembly council hall. 
All the residents of Dvaraka approached and addressed Him, "Dear Lord 
of the three worlds, a great fiery demon is ready to burn the whole city 
of Dvaraka! Please save us!" In this way all the inhabitants of Dvaraka 
appealed to Lord Krsna for protection from the fiery demon who had 
just appeared in Dvaraka to devastate the whole city. 
Lord Krsna, who specifically protects His devotees, saw that the whole 
population of Dvaraka was most perturbed by the presence of the great 
fiery demon. He immediately smiled and assured them, "Don't worry. I 
shall give you all protection." The Supreme Personality of Godhead, 
Krsna, is all-pervading. He is within everyone's heart, and He is also 
without, in the form of the cosmic manifestation. He could understand 
that the fiery demon was a creation of Lord Siva, and in order to 
vanquish him He took His Sudarsana cakra and ordered him to take the 
necessary steps. The Sudarsana cakra appeared with the effulgence of 
millions of suns, his heat being as powerful as the fire created at the end 
of the cosmic manifestation. By his effulgence the Sudarsana cakra 
illuminated the entire universe, on the surface of the earth as well as in 
outer space. Then the Sudarsana cakra began to freeze the fiery demon 
created by Lord Siva. In this way, the fiery demon was checked by the 
Sudarsana cakra of Lord Krsna, and, being defeated in his attempt to 
devastate the city of Dvaraka, he turned back. 
Having failed to set fire to Dvaraka, the fiery demon went back to 
Varanasi, the kingdom of Kasiraja. As a result of his return, all the 
priests who had helped instruct the black art of mantras, along with 
their employer, Sudaksina, were burned to ashes by the glaring 
effulgence of the fiery demon. According to the methods of black art 
mantras instructed in the tantras, if the mantra fails to kill the enemy, 
then, because it must kill someone, it kills the original creator. 
Sudaksina was the originator, and the priests assisted him; therefore all 
of them were burned to ashes. This is the way of the demons: the 
demons create something to kill God, but by the same weapon the 
demons themselves are killed. 

Following just behind the fiery demon, the Sudarsana cakra also entered 
Varanasi. This city had been very opulent and great for a very long time. 



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Even now, the city of VaranasI is opulent and famous, and it is one of 
the important cities of India. There were then many big palaces, 
assembly houses, marketplaces and gates, with large and very important 
monuments by the palaces and gates. Lecturing platforms could be found 
at each and every crossroads. There were buildings that housed the 
treasury, elephants, horses, chariots and grain, and places for 
distribution of food. The city of VaranasI had been filled with all these 
material opulences for a very long time, but because the King of KasI and 
his son Sudaksina were against Lord Krsna, the visnu-cakra Sudarsana 
(the disc weapon of Lord Krsna) devastated the whole city by burning all 
these important places. This excursion was more ravaging than modern 
bombing. The Sudarsana cakra, having thus finished his duty, came back 
to his Lord, Sri Krsna, at Dvaraka. 

This narration of the devastation of VaranasI by Krsna's disc weapon, 
the Sudarsana cakra, is transcendental and auspicious. Anyone who 
narrates or hears this story with faith and attention will be released from 
all reaction to sinful activities. This is the assurance of Sukadeva 
GosvamI, who narrated this story to Parlksit Maharaja. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixty-sixth Chapter of Krsna, 
"The Deliverance of Paundraka and the King of Kasi." 



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CHAPTER SIXTY- SEVEN 
The Deliverance of Dvivida Gorilla 

While Sukadeva Gosvami continued to speak on the transcendental 
pastimes and characteristics of Lord Krsna, King Parlksit, upon hearing 
him, became more and more enthusiastic and wanted to hear further. 
Sukadeva Gosvami next narrated the story of Dvivida, the gorilla who 
was killed by Lord Balarama. 

This gorilla was a great friend of Bhaumasura, or Narakasura, who was 
killed by Krsna in connection with his kidnapping sixteen thousand 
princesses from all over the world. Dvivida was the minister of King 
Sugriva. His brother, Mainda, was also a very powerful gorilla king. 
When Dvivida gorilla heard the story of his friend Bhaumasura's being 
killed by Lord Krsna, he planned to create mischief throughout the 
country in order to avenge the death of Bhaumasura. His first business 
was to set fires in villages, towns and industrial and mining places, as 
well as in the residential quarters of the mercantile men who were busy 
dairy farming and protecting cows. Sometimes he would uproot a big 
mountain and tear it to pieces. In this way he created great disturbances 
all over the country, especially in the province of Kathwar. The city of 
Dvaraka was situated in this Kathwar province, and because Lord Krsna 
used to live in this city, Dvivida specifically made it his target of 
disturbance. 

Dvivida was as powerful as ten thousand elephants. Sometimes he would 
go to the seashore, and with his powerful hands he would create so much 
disturbance in the sea that he would flood the neighboring cities and 
villages. Often he would go to the hermitages of great saintly persons 
and sages and cause a great disturbance by smashing their beautiful 
gardens and orchards. Not only did he create disturbances in that way, 
but sometimes he would pass urine and stool on their sacred sacrificial 
arenas. He would thus pollute the whole atmosphere. He also kidnapped 
both men and women, taking them away from their residential places to 
the caves of the mountains. Putting them within the caves, he would 



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260 



close the entrances with large chunks of stone, like the bhrngl insect, 
which arrests and carries away many flies and other insects and puts 
them within the holes of the trees where it lives. Thus Dvivida regularly 
defied the law and order of the country. Not only that, but he would 
sometimes pollute the female members of many aristocratic families by 
forcibly raping them. 

While creating such great disturbances all over the country, sometimes 
he heard very sweet musical sounds from Raivataka Mountain, and so he 
entered that mountainous region. There he saw Lord Balarama in the 
midst of many beautiful young girls, enjoying their company while 
singing and dancing. He became captivated by the beauty of Lord 
Balarama's body, whose every feature was very beautiful, decorated as He 
was with a garland of lotus flowers. Similarly, all the young girls present, 
dressed and garlanded with flowers, exhibited much beauty. Lord 
Balarama seemed fully intoxicated from drinking the varum beverage, 
and His eyes appeared to be rolling in a drunken state. Lord Balarama 
appeared just like the king of the elephants in the midst of many she- 
elephants. 

This gorilla by the name Dvivida could climb up on the trees and jump 
from one branch to another. Sometimes he would jerk the branches, 
creating a particular type of sound — kilakila — so that Lord Balarama 
was greatly distracted from the pleasing atmosphere. Sometimes Dvivida 
would come before the women and exhibit different types of caricatures. 
By nature young women are apt to enjoy everything with laughter and 
joking, and when the gorilla came before them they did not take him 
seriously but simply laughed at him. However, the gorilla was so rude 
that even in the presence of Balarama he began to show the lower part 
of his body to the women, and sometimes he would come forward to 
show his teeth while moving his eyebrows. He disrespected the women, 
even in the presence of Balarama. Lord Balarama's name suggests not 
only that He is very powerful but that He takes pleasure in exhibiting 
extraordinary strength. So He took a stone and threw it at Dvivida. The 
gorilla, however, artfully avoided being struck by the stone. In order to 
insult Balarama, the gorilla took away the earthen pot in which the 
varum was kept. Dvivida, being thus intoxicated with his limited 
strength, began to tear off all the valuable clothes worn by Balarama and 



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261 



the accompanying young girls. He was so puffed up that he thought that 
Balarama could not do anything to chastise him, and he continued to 
offend Balaramajl and His companions. 

When Lord Balarama saw the disturbances created by the gorilla and 
heard that he had already performed many mischievous activities all 
over the country, He became very angry and decided to kill him. 
Immediately He took His club in His hands. The gorilla could 
understand that now Balarama was going to attack him. To counteract 
Balarama, he immediately uprooted a big oak tree, and with great force 
he came and struck Lord Balarama's head. Lord Balarama, however, 
immediately caught hold of the big tree and remained undisturbed, just 
like a great mountain. To retaliate, He took His club, named Sunanda, 
and hit the gorilla with it, severely injuring his head. Currents of blood 
flowed from the gorilla's head with great force, but the stream of blood 
simply enhanced his beauty, like a stream of liquid manganese coming 
out of a great mountain. The striking of Balarama's club did not even 
slightly disturb him. On the contrary, he immediately uprooted another 
big oak tree and, after clipping off all its leaves, again struck Balarama's 
head with it. But Balarama, with the help of His club, tore the tree to 
pieces. Since the gorilla was very angry, he took another tree in his 
hands and struck Lord Balarama's body. Again Lord Balarama tore the 
tree to pieces, and the fighting continued. Each time the gorilla would 
bring out a big tree to strike Balarama, Lord Balarama would tear the 
tree to pieces by the striking of His club, and the gorilla Dvivida would 
clutch another tree from another direction and again attack Balarama in 
the same way. As a result of this continuous fighting, the forest became 
treeless. When no more trees were available, Dvivida took help from the 
hills and threw large pieces of stone, like rainfall, upon the body of 
Balarama. Lord Balarama, in a great sporting mood, began to smash 
those big pieces of stone into mere pebbles. The gorilla, being bereft of 
all trees and stone slabs, now stood before Him and waved his strong 
fists. Then, with great force, he began to beat Lord Balarama's chest 
with his fists. This time Lord Balarama became most angry. Since the 
gorilla was striking Him with his hands, Lord Balarama would not strike 
him back with His own weapons, the club or the plow. Simply with His 
fists He struck the collarbone of the gorilla. This blow proved fatal to 



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262 



Dvivida, who immediately vomited blood and fell unconscious upon the 
ground. When the gorilla fell, all the hills and forests appeared to totter. 
After this horrible incident, all the Siddhas, great sages and saintly 
persons from the upper planetary system showered flowers on the person 
of Lord Balarama and vibrated sounds glorifying His supremacy. All of 
them chanted, "All glories to Lord Balarama! Let us offer our respectful 
obeisances unto Your lotus feet. By killing this great demon, Dvivida, 
You have initiated an auspicious era for the world." All such jubilant 
sounds of victory were heard from outer space. After killing the great 
demon Dvivida and being worshiped by showers of flowers and glorious 
sounds of victory, Balarama returned to His capital city, Dvaraka. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixty-seventh Chapter of 
Krsna, "The Deliverance of Dvivida Gorilla. 



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CHAPTER SIXTY-EIGHT 
The Marriage of Samba 

Duryodhana, the son of Dhrtarastra, had a marriageable daughter by the 
name of Laksmana. She was a very highly qualified girl of the Kuru 
dynasty, and many princes wanted to marry her. In such cases, the 
svayarhvara ceremony is held, so that the girl may select her husband 
according to her own choice. In Laksmana's svayarhvara assembly, when 
the girl was to select her husband, Samba appeared. He was a son of 
Krsna's by Jambavati, one of Lord Krsna's chief wives. This son, Samba, 
was so named because be was a pet child and always lived close to his 
mother. The name Samba indicates a son who is very much his mother's 
pet. Amba means "mother," and sa means "with." So this special name 
was given to him because he always remained with his mother. He was 
also known as Jambavati-suta for the same reason. As previously 
explained, all the sons of Krsna were as qualified as their great father. 
Samba wanted Duryodhana's daughter, Laksmana, although she was not 
inclined to have him. Therefore Samba kidnapped Laksmana by force 
from the svayarhvara assembly. 

Because Samba took Laksmana away from the assembly by force, all the 
members of the Kuru dynasty, such as Dhrtarastra, Bhisma, Vidura and 
Arjuna, thought it an insult to their family tradition that the boy, 
Samba, could possibly have kidnapped their daughter. All of them knew 
that Laksmana was not at all inclined to select him as her husband and 
that she was not given the chance to select her own husband; instead 
she was forcibly taken away by this boy. Therefore, they decided that he 
must be punished. They unanimously declared that he was most 
impudent and had degraded the Kurus' family tradition. Therefore, all of 
them, under the counsel of the elderly members of the Kuru family, 
decided to arrest the boy but not kill him. They concluded that the girl 
could not be married to any boy other than Samba, since she had already 
been touched by him. (According to the Vedic system, once being 
touched by some boy, a girl cannot be married or given to any other boy. 



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Nor would anyone agree to marry a girl who had already thus associated 
with another boy.) The elderly members of the family, such as Bhisma, 
wanted to arrest him. All the members of the Kuru dynasty, especially 
the great fighters, joined together just to teach him a lesson, and Kama 
was made the commander in chief for this small battle. 
While making the plan to arrest Samba, the Kurus counseled amongst 
themselves that upon his arrest the members of the Yadu dynasty would 
be very angry with them. There was every possibility of the Yadus' 
accepting the challenge and fighting with them. But they also thought, 
"If they came here to fight with us, what could they do? The members of 
the Yadu dynasty cannot equal the members of the Kuru dynasty 
because the kings of the Kuru dynasty are the emperors whereas the 
kings of the Yadu dynasty are able to enjoy their land only because we 
have granted it to them." The Kurus thought, "If they come here to 
challenge us because their son was arrested, we shall accept the fight and 
teach them a lesson, so that automatically they will be subdued under 
pressure, as the senses are subdued by the mystic yoga process, 
pr dndy ama." In the mechanical system of mystic yoga, the airs within the 
body are controlled, and the senses are subdued and checked from being 
engaged in anything other than meditation upon Lord Visnu. 
After consultation and after receiving permission from the elder 
members of the Kuru dynasty, such as Bhisma and Dhrtarastra, five great 
warriors — Kama, Sala, Bhuri, Yajnaketu and Duryodhana, the father of 
the girl — all maha-rathls and guided by the great fighter Bhismadeva, 
attempted to arrest the boy Samba. There are different grades of 
fighters, including maha-rathl, eka-rathl and rathl, classified according to 
their fighting ability. These maha-rathls could fight alone with many 
thousands of men. All of them combined together to arrest Samba. 
Samba was also a maha-rathl, but he was alone and had to fight with the 
six other maha-rathls. Still he was not deterred when he saw all the great 
fighters of the Kuru dynasty coming up behind him to arrest him. 
Alone, he turned towards them and took his nice bow, posing exactly as 
a lion stands adamant in the face of other animals. Kama, leading the 
party, challenged Samba, "Why are you fleeing? Just stand, and we shall 
teach you a lesson!" When challenged by another ksatriya to stand and 
fight, a ksatriya cannot go away; he must fight. Therefore, as soon as 



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Samba accepted the challenge and stood alone before them, he was 
overpowered by showers of arrows shot by all the great warriors. A lion 
is never afraid of being chased by many wolves and jackals. Similarly, 
Samba, the glorious son of the Yadu dynasty, endowed with 
inconceivable potencies as the son of Lord Krsna, became very angry at 
the warriors of the Kuru dynasty for improperly using arrows against 
him. He fought them with great talent. First of all, he struck each of the 
six charioteers with six separate arrows. He used another four arrows to 
kill the charioteers' horses, four on each chariot. Then he used one 
arrow to kill the driver and one arrow for Kama as well as the other 
celebrated fighters. While Samba so diligently fought alone with the six 
great warriors, they all appreciated the boy's inconceivable potency. 
Even in the midst of fighting, they admitted frankly that this boy Samba 
was wonderful. But the fighting was conducted in the ksatriya spirit, so 
all together, although it was improper, they obliged Samba to get down 
from his chariot, now broken to pieces. Of the six warriors, four took 
care to kill Samba's four horses, one struck down his chariot driver, and 
one managed to cut the string of Samba's bow so that he could no longer 
fight with them. In this way, with great difficulty and after a severe 
fight, they deprived Samba of his chariot and were able to arrest him. 
Thus, the warriors of the Kuru dynasty accepted their great victory and 
took their daughter, Laksmana, away from him. Thereafter, they entered 
the city of Hastinapura in great triumph. 

The great sage Narada immediately carried the news to the Yadu 
dynasty that Samba had been arrested and told them the whole story. 
The members of the Yadu dynasty became very angry at Samba's being 
arrested, and improperly so by six warriors. Now, with the permission of 
the head of the Yadu dynasty, King Ugrasena, they prepared to attack 
the capital city of the Kuru dynasty. 

Although Lord Balarama knew very well that by slight provocation 
people are prepared to fight with one another in the Age of Kali, He did 
not like the idea that the two great dynasties, the Kuru dynasty and the 
Yadu dynasty, would fight amongst themselves, even though they were 
influenced by Kali-yuga. "Instead of fighting with them," He wisely 
thought, "let Me go there and see the situation, and let Me try to see if 
the fight can be settled by mutual understanding." Balarama's idea was 



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that if the Kuru dynasty could be induced to release Samba along with 
his wife, Laksmana, then the fight could be avoided. He therefore 
immediately arranged for a nice chariot to go to Hastinapura, 
accompanied by learned priests and brdhmanas, as well as by some of the 
elder members of the Yadu dynasty. He was confident that the members 
of the Kuru dynasty would agree to this marriage and avoid fighting 
amongst themselves. As Lord Balarama proceeded towards Hastinapura 
in His chariot, accompanied by the brdhmanas and elders, He looked like 
the moon shining in the clear sky amongst the glittering stars. When 
Lord Balarama reached the precincts of the city of Hastinapura, He did 
not enter but stationed Himself in a camp outside the city in a small 
garden house. Then He asked Uddhava to see the leaders of the Kuru 
dynasty and inquire from them whether they wanted to fight with the 
Yadu dynasty or to make a settlement. Uddhava went to see the leaders 
of the Kuru dynasty, and he met all the important members, including 
Bhismadeva, Dhrtarastra, Dronacarya, Duryodhana and Bahlika. After 
offering them due respects, he informed them that Lord Balarama had 
arrived at the garden, outside the city gate. 
The leaders of the Kuru dynasty, especially Dhrtarastra and 
Duryodhana, were joyful because they knew very well that Lord 
Balarama was a great well-wisher of their family. There were no bounds 
to their joy on hearing the news, and so they immediately welcomed 
Uddhava. In order to properly receive Lord Balarama, they all took in 
their hands auspicious paraphernalia for His reception and went to see 
Him outside the city gate. According to their respective positions, they 
welcomed Lord Balarama by giving Him in charity nice cows and arghya 
(a mixture of drati water and an assortment of items such as honey, 
butter, flowers and sandalwood pulp). Because all of them knew the 
exalted position of Lord Balarama as the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, they bowed their heads before the Lord with great respect. 
They all exchanged words of reception by asking one another of their 
welfare, and when such formalities were finished, Lord Balarama, in a 
great voice and very patiently, submitted before them the following 
words for their consideration. "My dear friends, this time I have come to 
you as a messenger with the order of the all-powerful King Ugrasena. 
Please, therefore, hear the order with attention and great care. Without 



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wasting a single moment, please try to carry out the order. King 
Ugrasena knows very well that you warriors of the Kuru dynasty 
improperly fought with the pious Samba, who was alone, and that with 
great difficulty and unrighteous tactics you have arrested him. We have 
all heard this news, but we are not very much agitated because we are 
most intimately related to one another. I do not think we should disturb 
our good relationship; we should continue our friendship without any 
unnecessary fighting. Please, therefore, immediately release Samba and 
bring him, along with his wife, Laksmana, before Me." 
When Lord Balarama spoke in a commanding tone full of heroic 
assertion, supremacy and chivalry, the leaders of the Kuru dynasty did 
not appreciate His statements. Rather, all of them became agitated, and 
with great anger they said, "Oh! These words are very astonishing but 
quite befitting the Age of Kali; otherwise how could Balarama speak so 
vituperatively? The language and tone used by Balarama are simply 
abusive, and due to the influence of this age it appears that the shoes 
befitting the feet want to rise to the top of the head, where the helmet is 
worn. We are connected with the Yadu dynasty by marriage, and 
because of this they have been given the chance to come live with us, 
dine with us and sleep with us; now they are taking advantage of these 
privileges. They had practically no position before we gave them a 
portion of our kingdom to rule, and now they are trying to command us. 
We have allowed the Yadu dynasty to use the royal insignias like the 
whisk, fan, conchshell, white umbrella, crown, royal throne, sitting 
place, bedstead and everything else befitting the royal order. They 
should not have used such royal paraphernalia in our presence, but we 
did not check them due to our family relationships. Now they have the 
audacity to order us to do things. Well, enough of their impudence! We 
cannot allow them to do any more of these things, nor shall we allow 
them to use these royal insignias. It would be best to take all these things 
away; it is improper to feed a snake with milk, since such merciful 
activities simply increase his venom. The Yadu dynasty is now trying to 
go against those who have fed them so nicely. Their flourishing 
condition is due to our gifts and merciful behavior, and still they are so 
shameless that they are trying to order us. How regrettable are all these 
activities! No one in the world can enjoy anything if members of the 



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Kuru dynasty like Bhlsma, Dronacarya and Arjuna do not allow them to. 
Exactly as a lamb cannot enjoy life in the presence of a lion, without our 
desire it is not even possible for the demigods in heaven, headed by King 
Indra, to find enjoyment in life, what to speak of ordinary human 
beings!" Actually the members of the Kuru dynasty were very much 
puffed up due to their opulence, kingdom, aristocracy, family tradition, 
great warriors, family members and vast, expansive empire. They did not 
even observe common formalities of civilized society, and in the 
presence of Lord Balarama they uttered insulting words about the Yadu 
dynasty. Having spoken in this unmannerly way, they returned to their 
city of Hastinapura. 

Although Lord Balarama patiently heard their insulting words and 
simply observed their uncivil behavior, from His appearance it was clear 
that He was burning with anger and was thinking of retaliating with 
great vengeance. His bodily features became so agitated that it was 
difficult for anyone to look at Him. He laughed very loudly and said, "It 
is true that if a man becomes too puffed up because of his family, 
opulence, beauty and material advancement, he no longer wants a 
peaceful life but becomes belligerent toward all others. It is useless to 
give such a person good instruction for gentle behavior and peaceful life; 
on the contrary, one should search out the ways and means to punish 
him." Generally, due to material opulence a man becomes exactly like an 
animal. To give an animal peaceful instructions is useless, and the only 
means is argumentum ad baculum. In other words, the only means to 
keep animals in order is a stick. "Just see how impudent are the members 
of the Kuru dynasty! I wanted to make a peaceful settlement despite the 
anger of all the other members of the Yadu dynasty, including Lord 
Krsna Himself. They were preparing to attack the whole kingdom of the 
Kuru dynasty, but I pacified them and took the trouble to come here to 
settle the affair without any fighting. Yet these rascals behave like this! 
It is clear that they do not want a peaceful settlement, for they are 
factually warmongers. With great pride they have repeatedly insulted 
Me by calling the Yadu dynasty ill names. 

"Even the King of heaven, Indra, abides by the order of the Yadu 
dynasty; and you consider King Ugrasena, the head of the Bhojas, 
Vrsnis, Andhakas and Yadavas, to be the leader of a small phalanx! Your 



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conclusion is wonderful! You do not care for King Ugrasena, whose 
order is obeyed even by King Indra. Consider the exalted position of the 
Yadu dynasty. They have forcibly used both the assembly house and the 
pdrijdta tree of the heavenly planet, and still you think that they cannot 
order you. Don't you even think that Lord Krsna, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, can sit on the exalted royal throne and 
command everyone? All right! If your thinking is like that, you deserve 
to be taught a very good lesson. You have thought it wise that the royal 
insignias like the whisk, fan, white umbrella, royal throne and other 
princely paraphernalia not be used by the Yadu dynasty. Does this mean 
that even Lord Krsna, the Lord of the whole creation and the husband 
of the goddess of fortune, cannot use this royal paraphernalia? The dust 
of Krsna's lotus feet is worshiped by all the great demigods. The Ganges 
water inundates the whole world, and since it emanates from His lotus 
feet, its banks have turned into great places of pilgrimage. The principal 
deities of all planets engage in His service and consider themselves most 
fortunate to take the dust of the lotus feet of Krsna on their helmets. 
Great demigods like Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and even the goddess of 
fortune and I are simply plenary parts of His spiritual identity, and still 
you think that He is not fit to use the royal insignia or even sit on the 
royal throne? Alas, how regrettable it is that these fools consider us, the 
members of the Yadu dynasty, to be like shoes and themselves like 
helmets. It is clear now that these leaders of the Kuru dynasty have 
become mad over their worldly possessions and opulence. Every 
statement they made was full of crazy proposals. I should immediately 
take them to task and bring them to their senses. If I do not take steps 
against them, it will be improper on My part. Therefore, on this very 
day, I shall rid the whole world of any trace of the Kuru dynasty. I shall 
finish them off immediately!" While talking like this, Lord Balarama 
seemed so furious that He looked as if He could burn the whole cosmic 
creation to ashes. He stood up steadily and, taking His plow in His hand, 
began striking the earth with it, separating the whole city of 
Hastinapura from the earth, and then He began to drag the city toward 
the flowing water of the river Ganges. This caused a great tremor 
throughout Hastinapura, as if there had been an earthquake, and it 
seemed that the whole city would be dismantled. 



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When all the members of the Kuru dynasty saw that their city was about 
to fall into the water of the Ganges and when they heard their citizens 
howling in great anxiety, they immediately came to their senses and 
understood what was happening. Thus without waiting another second 
they brought forward their daughter Laksmana. They also brought 
Samba, who had forcibly tried to take her away, keeping him in the 
forefront with Laksmana at his back. All the members of the Kuru 
dynasty appeared before Lord Balarama with folded hands just to beg the 
pardon of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now using good sense, 
they said, "O Lord Balarama, reservoir of all pleasures, You are the 
maintainer and support of the entire cosmic situation. Unfortunately we 
were all unaware of Your inconceivable potencies. Dear Lord, please 
consider us most foolish. Our intelligence was bewildered and not in 
order. Therefore we have come before You to beg Your pardon. Please 
excuse us. You are the original creator, sustainer and annihilator of the 
whole cosmic manifestation, and still Your position is always 
transcendental. O all-powerful Lord, great sages speak about You. You 
are the original puppeteer, and everything in the world is just like Your 
toy. O unlimited one, You have a hold on everything, and like child's 
play You hold all the planetary systems on Your head. When the time 
for dissolution comes, You close up the whole cosmic manifestation 
within Yourself. At that time, nothing remains but Yourself lying in the 
Causal Ocean as Maha-Visnu. Our dear Lord, You have appeared on this 
earth in Your transcendental body just for the maintenance of the 
cosmic situation. You are above all anger, envy and enmity. Whatever 
You do, even in the form of chastisement, is auspicious for the whole 
material existence. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You because 
You are the imperishable Supreme Personality of Godhead, the reservoir 
of all opulences and potencies. O creator of innumerable universes, let 
us fall down and offer You our respectful obeisances again and again. We 
are now completely surrendered unto You. Please, therefore, be merciful 
upon us and give us Your protection." When the prominent members of 
the Kuru dynasty, beginning with grandfather Bhismadeva down to 
Arjuna and Duryodhana, had offered their respectful prayers in that 
way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Balarama, immediately 
became softened and assured them that there was no cause for fear and 



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that they need not worry. 

For the most part it was the practice of the ksatriya kings to inaugurate 
some kind of fighting between the parties of the bride and bridegroom 
before the marriage. When Samba forcibly took away Laksmana, the 
elder members of the Kuru dynasty were pleased to see that he was 
actually the suitable match for her. In order to see his personal strength, 
however, they fought with him, and without respect for the regulations 
of fighting, they all arrested him. When the Yadu dynasty decided to 
release Samba from the confinement of the Kurus, Lord Balarama came 
personally to settle the matter, and, as a powerful ksatriya, He ordered 
them to free Samba immediately. The Kauravas were superficially 
insulted by this order, so they challenged Lord Balarama's power. They 
simply wanted to see Him exhibit His inconceivable strength. Thus with 
great pleasure they handed over their daughter to Samba, and the whole 
matter was settled. Duryodhana, being affectionate towards his daughter 
Laksmana, had her married to Samba in great pomp. For her dowry, he 
first gave 1,200 elephants, each at least 60 years old; then he gave 10,000 
nice horses, 6,000 chariots, dazzling just like the sunshine, and 1,000 
maidservants decorated with golden ornaments. Lord Balarama, the 
most prominent member of the Yadu dynasty, acted as guardian of the 
bridegroom, Samba, and very pleasingly accepted the dowry. Balarama 
was very satisfied after His great reception from the side of the Kurus, 
and accompanied by the newly married couple, He started towards His 
capital city of Dvaraka. 

Lord Balarama triumphantly reached Dvaraka, where He met with many 
citizens who were all His devotees and friends. When they all assembled, 
Lord Balarama narrated the whole story of the marriage, and they were 
astonished to hear how Balarama had made the city of Hastinapura 
tremble. It is confirmed by Sukadeva GosvamI that in those days the 
river flowing through the city of Hastinapura, present-day New Delhi, 
was known as the Ganges, although today it is called the Yamuna. From 
authorities like Jlva GosvamI it is confirmed that the Ganges and 
Yamuna are the same river flowing in different courses. The part of the 
Ganges which flows through Hastinapura to the area of Vrndavana is 
called the Yamuna because it is sanctified by the transcendental 
pastimes of Lord Krsna. The part of Hastinapura which slopes towards 



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the Yamuna becomes inundated during the rainy season and reminds 
everyone of Lord Balarama's threatening to cast the city into the 
Ganges. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixty-eighth Chapter of Krsna, 
"The Marriage of Samba." 



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CHAPTER SIXTY-NINE 
The Great Sage Narada Visits the Different Homes 

of Lord Krsna 

When the great sage Narada heard that Lord Krsna had married sixteen 
thousand wives after He had killed the demon Narakasura, sometimes 
called Bhaumasura, he was astonished that Lord Krsna had expanded 
Himself into sixteen thousand forms and married these wives 
simultaneously in different palaces. Being inquisitive as to how Krsna 
was managing His household affairs with so many wives, Narada, 
desiring to see these pastimes, set out to visit Krsna's different homes. 
When Narada arrived in Dvaraka, he saw gardens and parks full of 
various flowers of different colors and orchards overloaded with a 
variety of fruits. Beautiful birds were chirping, and peacocks crowed 
delightfully. There were ponds full of blue and red lotus flowers, and 
some of these tanks were filled with varieties of lilies. The lakes were full 
of nice swans and cranes, and the voices of these birds resounded 
everywhere. In the city there were as many as 900,000 great palaces built 
of first-class marble, with gates and doors made of silver. The pillars of 
the houses and palaces were bedecked with jewels such as touchstone, 
sapphires and emeralds, and the floors gave off a beautiful luster. The 
highways, lanes, streets, crossings and marketplaces were all beautifully 
decorated. The whole city was full of residential homes, assembly houses 
and temples, all of different architectural beauty. All of this made 
Dvaraka a glowing city. The big avenues, crossings, lanes and streets, 
and also the thresholds of every residential house, were very clean. On 
both sides of every path there were bushes, and at regular intervals there 
were large trees that shaded the avenues so that the sunshine would not 
bother the passersby. 

In this greatly beautiful city of Dvaraka, Lord Krsna, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, had many residential quarters. The great kings 
and princes of the world used to visit these palaces just to worship Him. 
The architectural plans were made personally by Visvakarma, the 
engineer of the demigods, and in the construction of the palaces he 



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exhibited all of his talents and ingenuity. These residential quarters 
numbered more than sixteen thousand, and a different queen of Lord 
Krsna resided in each of them. The great sage Narada entered one of 
these houses and saw that the pillars were made of coral and the ceilings 
were bedecked with jewels. The walls as well as the arches between the 
pillars glowed from the decorations of different kinds of sapphires. 
Throughout the palace were many canopies made by Visvakarma that 
were decorated with strings of pearls. The chairs and other furniture 
were made of ivory and bedecked with gold and diamonds, and jeweled 
lamps dissipated the darkness within the palace. There was so much 
incense and fragrant gum burning that the scented fumes were coming 
out of the windows. The peacocks sitting on the steps became illusioned 
by the fumes, mistaking them for clouds, and began dancing jubilantly. 
There were many maidservants, all of whom were decorated with gold 
necklaces, bangles and beautiful saris. There were also many male 
servants, nicely dressed in cloaks and turbans and jeweled earrings. 
Beautiful as they were, the servants were all engaged in different 
household duties. 

Narada saw that Lord Krsna was sitting with Rukminidevi, the mistress 
of that particular palace, who was holding the handle of a cdmara whisk. 
Even though there were many thousands of maidservants equally 
beautiful and qualified and of the same age, Rukminidevi personally was 
engaged in fanning Lord Krsna. Krsna is the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, worshiped even by Narada, yet as soon as Krsna saw Narada 
enter the palace, He got down immediately from Rukmini's bedstead and 
stood up to honor him. Lord Krsna is the teacher of the whole world, 
and in order to instruct everyone how to respect a saintly person like 
Narada Muni, He bowed down, touching His helmet to the ground. Not 
only did Krsna bow down, but He also touched the feet of Narada and 
with folded hands requested him to sit on His chair. Lord Krsna is the 
Supreme Personality, worshiped by all devotees. He is the most 
worshiped spiritual master of everyone. The Ganges water which 
emanates from His feet sanctifies the three worlds. All qualified 
brdhmanas worship Him, and therefore He is called brahmanya-deva. 
Brahmanya means one who fully possesses the brahminical 
qualifications, which are said to be as follows: truthfulness, self-control, 



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purity, mastery of the senses, simplicity, full knowledge by practical 
application, and engagement in devotional service. Lord Krsna 
personally possesses all these qualities, and He is worshiped by persons 
who themselves possess such qualities. There are thousands and millions 
of names of Lord Krsna — Visnu-sahasra-ndma — and all of them are 
given to Him because of His transcendental qualities. 
Lord Krsna in Dvaraka enjoyed the pastimes of a perfect human being. 
Therefore, when He washed the feet of the sage Narada and took the 
water on His head, Narada did not object, knowing well that the Lord 
did so to teach everyone how to respect saintly persons. The Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, Krsna, who is the original Narayana and eternal 
friend of all living entities, thus worshiped the sage Narada according to 
Vedic regulative principles. Welcoming him with sweet, nectarean 
words, He addressed Narada as bhagavdn, or one who is self-sufficient, 
possessing all knowledge, renunciation, strength, fame, beauty and 
other, similar opulences. He particularly asked Narada, "What can I do 
in your service?" 

Narada replied, "My dear Lord, this kind of behavior by Your Lordship is 
not at all astonishing, for You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead 
and master of all species of living entities. You are the supreme friend of 
all living entities, but at the same time You are the supreme chastiser of 
the miscreants and the envious. I know that Your Lordship has 
descended on this earth for the proper maintenance of the whole 
universe. Your appearance, therefore, is not forced by any other agency. 
By Your sweet will only, You agree to appear and disappear. It is my 
great fortune that I have been able to see Your lotus feet today. Anyone 
who becomes attached to Your lotus feet is elevated to the supreme 
position of neutrality and is uncontaminated by the material modes of 
nature. My Lord, You are unlimited — there is no limit to Your 
opulences. Great demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva are always 
busy placing You within their hearts and meditating upon You. The 
conditioned souls who have now been put into the blind well of material 
existence can get out of this eternal captivity only by accepting Your 
lotus feet. Thus, You are the only shelter of all conditioned souls. My 
dear Lord, You have very kindly asked what You can do for me. In 
answer to this I simply request that I may not forget Your lotus feet at 



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any time. I do not care where I may be, but I pray that I constantly be 
allowed to remember Your lotus feet." 

By asking this benediction from the Lord, the sage Narada showed the 
ideal prayer of all pure devotees. A pure devotee never asks for any kind 
of material or spiritual benediction from the Lord; his only prayer is that 
he may not forget the lotus feet of the Lord in any condition of life. A 
pure devotee does not care whether he is put into heaven or hell; he is 
satisfied anywhere, provided he can constantly remember the lotus feet 
of the Lord. Lord Caitanya also taught this same process of prayer in His 
Siksdstaka, in which He clearly stated that all He wanted was devotional 
service, birth after birth. A pure devotee does not even want to stop the 
repetition of birth and death. To a pure devotee, it does not matter 
whether he has to take birth again in the various species of life. His only 
ambition is that he not forget the lotus feet of the Lord in any condition 
of life. 

After departing from the palace of Rukmini, Naradaji wanted to see 
further activities of Lord Krsna's internal potency, yogamdyd; thus he 
entered the palace of another queen. There he saw Lord Krsna engaged 
in playing chess with His dear wife and Uddhava. The Lord immediately 
got up from His seat and invited Narada Muni to sit on His personal 
seat. The Lord again worshiped him with as much paraphernalia for 
reception as He had in the palace of Rukmini. After worshiping him 
properly, Lord Krsna acted as if He did not know what had happened in 
the palace of Rukmini. He therefore told Narada, "My dear sage, when 
Your Holiness comes here, you are full in yourself. Although We are 
householders and are always in need, you don't require anyone's help, 
for you are self-satisfied. Under the circumstances, what reception can 
We offer you, and what can We possibly give you? Yet, since Your 
Holiness is a brdhmana, it is Our duty to offer you something as far as 
possible. Therefore, I beg you to please order Me. What can I do for 
you: 

Naradaji knew everything about the pastimes of the Lord, so without 
further discussion he simply left the palace silently, in great 
astonishment over the Lord's activities. He then entered another palace. 
This time Naradaji saw that Lord Krsna was engaged as an affectionate 
father petting His small children. From there he entered another palace 



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and saw Lord Krsna preparing to take His bath. In this way, Saint 
Narada entered each and every one of the sixteen thousand residential 
palaces of the queens of Lord Krsna, and in each of them he found 
Krsna engaged in different ways. 

In one palace he found Krsna offering oblations to the sacrificial fire 
and performing the ritualistic ceremonies of the Vedas as enjoined for 
householders. In another palace he found Krsna performing the panca- 
yajna sacrifice, which is compulsory for a householder. This yajfia is also 
known as panca-sund. Knowingly or unknowingly, everyone, especially 
the householder, commits five kinds of sinful activities. When we 
receive water from a water pitcher, we kill many germs that are in it. 
Similarly, when we use a grinding machine or eat food, we kill many 
germs. When sweeping a floor or igniting a fire we kill many germs, and 
when we walk on the street we kill many ants and other insects. 
Consciously or unconsciously, in all our different activities, we are 
killing. Therefore, it is incumbent upon every householder to perform 
the panca-sund sacrifice to rid himself of the reactions to such sinful 
activities. 

In one palace Narada found Lord Krsna feeding brdhmanas after 
performing ritualistic yajnas. In another palace Narada found Krsna 
silently chanting the Gayatri mantra, and in a third he found Him 
practicing fighting with a sword and shield. In some palaces Lord Krsna 
was found riding on horses, elephants or chariots and wandering hither 
and thither. Elsewhere He was found lying down on His bedstead taking 
rest, and somewhere else He was found sitting in His chair, being praised 
by the prayers of His different devotees. In some of the palaces He was 
found consulting with ministers like Uddhava on important matters of 
business. In one palace He was found surrounded by many young society 
girls, enjoying in a swimming pool. In another palace He was found 
giving well-decorated cows in charity to the brdhmanas, and in another 
palace He was found hearing the narrations of the Purdnas and of 
histories such as the Mahdbhdrata, which are supplementary scriptures 
for disseminating Vedic knowledge to common people by narrating 
important instances in the history of the universe. Somewhere Lord 
Krsna was found enjoying the company of a particular wife by 
exchanging joking words with her. Somewhere else He was found 



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278 



engaged with His wife in religious ritualistic functions. Since it is 
necessary for householders to increase their financial assets for various 
expenditures, Krsna was found somewhere engaged in matters of 
economic development. Somewhere else He was found enjoying family 
life according to the regulative principles of the sastras. 
In one palace He was found sitting in meditation as if concentrating His 
mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond these 
material universes. Meditation, as recommended in authorized scripture, 
is meant for concentrating one's mind on the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, Visnu. Lord Krsna is Himself the original Visnu, but because 
He played the part of a human being, He taught us definitely by His 
personal behavior what is meant by meditation. Somewhere Lord Krsna 
was found satisfying elderly superiors by supplying them things they 
needed. Somewhere else Naradaji found that Lord Krsna was engaged in 
discussing topics of fighting, and somewhere else in making peace with 
enemies. Somewhere Lord Krsna was found discussing the ultimate 
auspicious activity for the entire human society with His elder brother, 
Lord Balarama. Narada saw Lord Krsna engaged in getting His sons and 
daughters married with suitable brides and bridegrooms in due course of 
time, and the marriage ceremonies were being performed with great 
pomp. In one palace the Lord was found bidding farewell to His 
daughters, and in another He was found receiving a daughter-in-law. 
People throughout the whole city were astonished to see such pomp and 
ceremonies. 

Somewhere the Lord was seen performing different types of sacrifices to 
satisfy the demigods, who are only His qualitative expansions. 
Somewhere He was seen engaged in public welfare activities, 
establishing deep wells for water supply, rest houses and gardens for 
unknown guests, and great monasteries and temples for saintly persons. 
These are some of the duties enjoined in the Vedas for householders for 
fulfillment of their material desires. Somewhere Krsna was found as a 
ksatriya king engaged in hunting animals in the forest and riding on a 
very beautiful Sindhi horse. According to Vedic regulations, the 
ksatriyas were allowed to kill prescribed animals on certain occasions, 
either to maintain peace in the forests or to offer the animals in the 
sacrificial fire. Ksatriyas are allowed to practice this killing art because 



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279 



they have to kill their enemies mercilessly to maintain peace in society. 
In one situation the great sage Narada saw Lord Krsna, the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead and master of mystic powers, acting as a spy by 
changing His usual dress in order to understand the motives of different 
citizens in the city and the palaces. 

Saint Narada saw all these activities of the Lord, who is the Supersoul of 
all living entities but who played the role of an ordinary human being to 
manifest the activities of His internal potency. Smiling within himself, 
he addressed the Lord as follows: "My dear Lord of all mystic powers, 
object of the meditation of great mystics, the extent of Your mystic 
power is certainly inconceivable, even to mystics like Lord Brahma and 
Lord Siva. But by Your mercy, because of my being always engaged in 
the transcendental loving service of Your lotus feet, Your Lordship has 
very kindly revealed to me the actions of Your internal potency. My 
dear Lord, You are worshipable by all, and demigods and predominating 
deities of all fourteen planetary systems are completely aware of Your 
transcendental fame. Now please give me Your blessings so that I may be 
able to travel all over the universes singing the glories of Your 
transcendental activities." 

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna, replied to Narada as 
follows: "My dear Narada, O sage among the demigods, you know that I 
am the supreme instructor and perfect follower of all religious principles, 
as well as the supreme enforcer of such principles. I am therefore 
personally executing such religious principles in order to teach the 
whole world how to act. My dear son, it is My desire that you not be 
bewildered by such demonstrations of My internal energy." 
The Supreme Personality of Godhead was engaged in His so-called 
household affairs in order to teach people how one can sanctify one's 
household life although one may be attached to the imprisonment of 
material existence. Actually, one is obliged to continue the term of 
material existence because of household life. But the Lord, being very 
kind upon householders, demonstrated the path of sanctifying ordinary 
household life. Because Krsna is the center of all activities, the life of a 
Krsna conscious householder is transcendental to Vedic injunctions and 
is automatically sanctified. 
Thus Narada saw one single Krsna living in sixteen thousand palaces by 



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280 



His plenary expansions. Due to His inconceivable energy, He was visible 
in the palace of each and every individual queen. Lord Krsna has 
unlimited power, and Narada's astonishment was boundless upon 
observing again and again the demonstration of Lord Krsna's internal 
energy. Lord Krsna behaved by His personal example as if He were very 
much attached to the four principles of civilized life, namely religion, 
economic development, sense gratification and salvation. These four 
principles of material existence are necessary for the spiritual 
advancement of human society, and although Lord Krsna had no need 
to do so, He exhibited His household activities so that people might 
follow in His footsteps for their own interest. Lord Krsna satisfied the 
sage Narada in every way. Narada was very much pleased by seeing the 
Lord's activities in Dvaraka, and thus he departed. 

In narrating the activities of Lord Krsna in Dvaraka, Sukadeva GosvamI 
explained to King Pariksit how Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of 
Godhead, descends to this material universe by the agency of His 
internal potency and personally exhibits the principles which, if 
followed, can lead one to achieve the ultimate goal of life. All the queens 
in Dvaraka, more than sixteen thousand in number, engaged their 
feminine attractive features in the transcendental service of the Lord by 
smiling and serving, and the Lord was pleased to behave with them 
exactly like a perfect husband enjoying household life. One should know 
definitely that such pastimes cannot be performed by anyone but Lord 
Sri Krsna, who is the original cause of the creation, maintenance and 
dissolution of the whole cosmic manifestation. Anyone who attentively 
hears the narrations of the Lord's pastimes in Dvaraka or supports a 
preacher of the Krsna consciousness movement will certainly find it 
very easy to traverse the path of liberation and taste the nectar of the 
lotus feet of Lord Krsna. And thus he will be engaged in Lord Krsna's 
devotional service. 

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixty-ninth Chapter of Krsna, 
"The Great Sage Narada Visits the Different Homes of Lord Krsna." 



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Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead 

Volume II 

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